If Hasso Plattner’s academic tone didn’t slap you hard with what SAP’s message for this Sapphire was, then there was every chance that Bill McDermott’s rock star like charisma got the message through.
Yes. The message was loud and clear. “Simple”. “Simplify”. “Simplify Everything. Do Anything..”.
Overall I would say there were really no ground-breaking announcements made except Fiori now being offered “Free” as part of basic licensing. From a Cogent IBS Mobility practice standpoint, that announcement was significant. We are now going to evaluate our opportunities to develop a Fiori Consulting group which can help customers to implement both standard Fiori applications as well as customized Fiori applications.
Here is my summary of what I took away from Sapphire 2014:
- Fiori now being offered free.
- But Fiori HCM suite has only 6 apps. This means customers are going to need a lot of help to develop their own custom apps.
- From what little I saw of Fiori, I have to say, there has been quite a bit of work that has gone behind UX design. But once some difficult questions were raised and corresponding responses from Fiori experts were analyzed, it is safe to consider the maturity level of Fiori “questionable”. In my assessment, it has a long way to go to deliver the demo promise and satisfy customers. But then, this is SAP we are talking about. They will find a way to convince customers they don’t have a choice, whether they are satisfied or not.
- HANA cloud and Cloud services offered through HANA platform have evolved quite a bit since last year.
- The real question is how much market penetration, HANA eventually has. If HANA doesn’t make the kind of inroads that SAP is hoping to have in the next couple of years, it should be a considered a failure. Failure not because HANA is not a great concept, but failure from the standpoint of how SAP is building a world around HANA as a platform. But for now, I am positive that HANA will get to make a small dent in the couple of years. It all depends on how Oracle fights back the ‘in-memory’ threat.
- Fiori and HR Renewal will be combined soon (makes sense and makes you wonder what was the point of confusion to begin with).
- Learned a new term “Side by Side” – For SuccessFactors/SAP HR hybrid implementations.
- Lumira is still around. Not much has changed since last year.
- No more push for SAP Mobile Platform, even though it was still talked about.
- Absolutely no reference to Sybase anymore. Not surprising.
- Absolutely no sign of SuccessFactors name or logo anywhere. If this is an indication, then by 2015, we may not hear the name “SuccessFactors” anymore.. Of course, the speakers talked about SuccessFactors using the name..but in general the reference was more generic.
- Terrific turnout. 25,000 attendees was the estimate. If true this was at least 7000 more than last year.
I see the following as Cogent’s opportunities based on the above takeaways:
- HANA Cloud – Understand how we can partner with SAP to offer HANA cloud solutions or hosting services to customers.
- Fiori – Consulting opportunities in this space.
- Determine our HANA Enterprise Analytics capabilities and build a strong case for growth.
- Mobile solutions – This is still an area of interest for many customers (especially in certain industries) as they have not even started developing mobile strategies yet. Cogent, with over 18 months of experience in this space now, can confidently move forward with a clear message. We just need to narrow down that message.
In summary, “Simply” speaking, this was a great show put up by SAP.