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SapphireNow – is SAP poised to lead the industry again?

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I went to SapphireNow in Orlando.  I am getting requests to write an update to SAP Nation. There is plenty I could write about – how thousands of SAP customers are trying out one or more of the “coping strategies” I had outlined in the book to manage their exposure to SAP and partners – ring fencing with cloud apps, third party maintenance, two-tier ERP etc. The anxiety in the customer base is palpable as SAP gets aggressive with the indirect access clause. As I have written before the clause has poisoned relations with many a customer. I could write about the changed competitive landscape where Oracle appears more obsessed with Amazon than it is with SAP. Where Workday says it is not worried about either SAP or Oracle.

But I am a Camus fan, especially of his quote ‘In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer”. I feel SAP is poised for a turnaround. So I approached them to get a balanced perspective for the book, not just input from competitors and less than happy customers. I want SAP to put its most positive foot forward. SapphireNow, which is usually a very polished event, gave me a chance to see some of their positive marketing. I hope they also follow through with my request to interview several of their executives and customers that stand out.

While most of my Sapphire notes are for the book, here are some perspectives I picked up after a break of a few years from the event.

Executive depth and continuity

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