When you write books about the technology industry you fret about the time it takes to go through the publishing and printing stage. Given the dynamic nature of the business you know job changes, M&A, product announcements are inevitable, and you have to regularly assess what to change in the manuscript and not annoy editors too much.
So you think I would be stressed by the two major announcements today.
The changes at Oracle only mean a few title changes in the manuscript. Personally, I am excited to see Ellison take over as CTO. I have enjoyed watching Hasso Plattner show off his passion for HANA in his blogs and presentations. I hope Larry does the same.
The Concur acquisition by SAP also does little to change the manuscript. Over the last few weeks, while I have waited for a SAP response to my offer to carry a column on how HANA and clouds will affect the SAP economy, I have reached out to a number of analysts. Their feedback shows an SAP in transition to a “network economy” player, but none of the moves affect much the economics of BusinessSuite, Business One, Business Objects and other legacy products. They make up the bulk of the $ 200+ annual run rate in the SAP economy in the book’s model
If anything, the integrations of SuccessFactors, Ariba, Fieldglass and now Concur are complex, and till SAP delivers mature connectors could increase customer investment demands. So much for the simplification promise SAP keeps making!
The $ 17 billion SAP has made in those four vendors is also a return to roots. In SAP’s early years, Dr. Plattner has said he wanted to work on sales and distribution functionality, but because they were unique to each industry they focused more on cross-industry financial and procurement functionality.
Today, SAP has few such constraints. In fact, customers in many industries are disappointed it has not been focused on delivering vertical functionality where there is typically better customer value than in back office areas. These moves are more about SAP looking good to financial analysts with a larger “cloud” footprint.
In any case, I do hope SAP does not make any more major announcements in the next few weeks. Let my editors work in relative peace, please