This year at Sapphire we have ring side seats to some really interesting innovations that are happening in the “Enterprise software” space. Over the last couple of days I have seen some really interesting solutions , technologies and products.
To SAP’s credit they have now put a lot of innovation out there, specifically around mobility , business analytics solutions. SAP has accomplished some really neat things and I am sure there are more announcements to come in the key note tomorrow. And this is not factoring in some of the projects that they have in the “works” that are very interesting too, like “SAP River” etc.
But I think they now have two key challenges :
- Communicating it clearly to the customer – In an simple way
- Enabling customers to consume these innovations with truly transformative results
This part of the journey is going to be a lot harder (not trivializing the effort so far) , but this is where the rubber hits the road and is the real test of these solutions.
And if some of these “innovations” are as disruptive as expected by SAP, how customers go about consuming this will also need to be fundamentally different. Yes SAP talks about the stable core and innovations on top. If some of these technologies and solutions are to have the real impact then customers will need to re-invent their IT organizations and their approach to these solutions / projects.
This is a hard problem, Today I listened to many customer stories – Disney, Coca Cola, Bank of America, Under Armor, Canadian Rail and so on and I think in each of the stories the topic moved away from the product or solution to the “implementation” related challenges really fast. How is SAP going to enable this?
Also all this new solutions and innovations , its important that there be a clearly defined roadmap / path to these technologies and this path shouldn’t just be linear, it should prepare for or more accurately focus on leap frogging. How can customer leap frog from where they are to the latest and greatest? I believe that in some way the “Cloud” component will be an important part of this leap frogging approach.