I am presenting at the Sapience conference next week.
I had heard someone call it “The Anti-SAP conference” before and didn’t not think much about it. But today the Enterprise Irregulars brought it up again and I thought I would put my thoughts in writing.
Call me naive, but I am baffled it is considered “anti-SAP”
I am presenting mostly on how to manage systems integration, application management, hosting, upgrade costs around SAP. Some of these line items have been out of control for a long time, and others look bloated compared to emerging cloud metrics. SAP customers who have no intention of uprooting SAP have every intention in managing these costs (which can make up 70 to 90% of TCO in an SAP shop). How is that anti-SAP?
Ok, so you say Zach Nelson of NetSuite is presenting. Surely, he is sworn to see SAP wither away. Zach is one of the most realistic CEOs I have met. He knows there are business functions, certain locations where SAP customers cannot justify the SAP footprint where he has a shot in the SAP customer base. Will he replace SAP at headquarters in large customers? Highly unlikely any time soon. Ray Wang, my fellow Enterprise Advocate is similarly presenting broadly on SaaS.
SAP has had plenty to time to offer its own SaaS version to its customers. It is being very selective about who its offers BusinessByDesign. But why is exposing SAP customers to alternatives in a vacuum created by SAP itself considered anti-SAP?
OK, so Seth Ravin of Rimini is presenting. Surely, he would love to get more third party maintenance in the SAP customer base. But if he does, it only confirms that SAP customers are not ready to uproot SAP. They just want a tiered maintenance price. SAP bought his previous company TomorrowNow, and offered a tiered option to Oracle customers, but chose not to do it for their own customers.
Same question - why is exposing SAP customers to alternatives in a vacuum created by SAP itself considered anti-SAP?
Helmuth Guembel, my former Gartner colleague and organizer of the event, consults with a number of SAP customers in Europe. From my conversations with him, many are unhappy with SAP, but few of them are ready to jettison SAP. But the key point is these are living, breathing SAP customers. The theme of the conference is “Alternatives for leveraging your investment in SAP.” How can that be anti-SAP?
I see Amit Bendov from Panaya is presenting – they actually streamline SAP upgrades. I see Steve Zollman from net-net presenting on SAP sustainability. How is that anti-SAP?
I don’t know many of the other presenters or have not seen them in years to know what their “agendas” are. And I will miss most since I am going to the SAP analyst/media summit on that first day. It’s SAP ‘s opportunity to coach me not to be ‘anti-SAP” :)