This year, I am not going to Madrid to attend SAPPHIRENOW and SAPTECHED 2012, due to some scheduling conflicts on work front. I will be following the event online as much as I can. My JD-OD friends will surely do their excellent wrap up videos, and I can’t wait to watch them. Also, a shameless plug for my IBM team at Madrid . Please go visit them at the IBM booth, and ask for Gagan Reen, and watch the retail application we built on HANA, specifically on XS engine.
I am not sure if there is a lot of new news that SAP has to share with the world this time. Not a lot of time has passed after SAPTECHED 2012 in Vegas. I am a big fan of keeping SAPPHIRENOW and SAPTECHED together as one event. And having events so close to each other serves very little purpose to SAP and its ecosystem. I hope SAP does it in US too – and a change of venue from Orlando and Vegas couldn’t hurt.
I am sure the keynotes from Bill McDermott, Jim Snabe and Vishal Sikka will be awesome, as they usually are. What do I expect from each ?
From Bill McDermott, I expect to hear some color on why an amazing innovation like HANA only has about 650 (probably some more now, since 650 was what we heard in Vegas at Teched) customers. More importantly – what are his plans for 2013 . APAC is where the action is for a lot of enterprise software. I would love to hear what Bill has to say about unique solutions for APAC companies. Of particular interest to me is what he plans to do to capitalize the mobility market there. It is ripe for the plucking . Checkout what I wrote last week on my way back from India. https://andvijaysays.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/mobility-in-india-reminds-me-of-a-boneym-song-bahama-mama/
Maybe Bill will let Sanjay Poonen to do a short section of his keynote to explain the mobility strategy in more detail. Another thing I expect Bill to go into is the convergence of mobility, hana , analytics and cloud . In past keynotes, he has articulated what each bring to the table. But the business value for customers clearly is in the intersection of all (or some) of it.
From Jim Snabe, I expect to hear the business side of SAP’s cloud story – with emphasis on the Ariba acquisition and Collaboration. I am sure several SAP customers will be excited to hear about how SAP is planning to give them extra value on Ariba’s vast business network. And collaboration plays a key role – since none of SAP’s competitors in collaboration space has the advantage of tight integration to the context of business processes. An interesting side question to SAP cloud strategy is how SAP’s investment in HANA as the DB for ERP, CRM etc ties with the fact that new innovation in business processes from most of their competitors like SFDC, WorkDay etc are on cloud. So why is SAP choosing to invest in On-premises HANA enablement, when the world is generally moving to cloud? I hope Jim addresses that question. If I was in Madrid, I would have asked this in person to Jim.
There is no denying that my favorite part of any SAP event is Vishal’s keynote. From Vishal, I expect to hear the next level of detail on SAP’s platform story. Platform is the future, and SAP’s platform is evolving rapidly. Maybe he will finally announce the sunset of the beloved Netweaver brand for cloud. What would be a really good thing for Vishal to explain is what is the next thing that the millions of ABAP programmers in the ecosystem to do in near future to keep themselves relevant. It is a captive audience that is extremely loyal to SAP. It would be a crying shame if they are not shown a clear path forward on skills they need for the new-SAP.
Alright then – I am ready to kick back, and watch the virtual event. Good luck SAP .