• May 19, 2010
  • By Juan Martinez, Editorial Assistant, CRM magazine

SAP Insists "Mobile Is the New Desktop"

ORLANDO, FLA. — To hear industry observers tell it, SAP's recent acquisition of Sybase was clearly meant to chip away at the market share of rival Oracle. But at the opening of this year's SapphireNow annual conference here this week, SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott took the industry rivalry one step further. During a simultaneous real-time virtual press conference from Orlando and Frankfurt, which kicked off the conference, McDermott and fellow co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe responded to speculation about the acquisition and outlined SAP's short-term company vision.

[Editors' Note: Additional coverage of SapphireNow '10 is available on destinationCRM (here) and destinationCRMblog.com (here and here).]

Speaking of their first 99 days as co-CEOs, Hagemann Snabe detailed SAP's goal to move itself into the mobile market.

"In some countries, the mobile device is the infrastructure," he said. "Mobile is the new desktop. Retailers are transforming their business to be responsive. The mobile we get with Sybase is the perfect end-to-end solution."

"We don't acquire to acquire market share or consolidate legacy," Hagemann Snabe continued. "We acquire to move the company forward. With the acquisition of Sybase...we become number one in mobile solutions. We believe in-memory technology will change the way data is captured, stored, and analyzed."

McDermott echoed Hagemann Snabe's comments but, in a subtle jab at Oracle, emphasized that the move was not about the bottom line, but rather about customer satisfaction and growth.

"Both of our companies are excited about this," McDermott said, "because it is focused on growth. Not like other acquisitions we've seen in northern California where 21,000 jobs have been cut and people have been demoralized." 

Symbolically reinforcing SAP's desire to cut into Oracle's market share, the comments were clearly aimed at Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which, according to rumors reported by The New York Times, led to the loss of at least 10,000 jobs. 

Hagemann Snabe also addressed SAP's decision not to purchase a data-mining company. While he acknowledged that data mining is an important part of SAP's strategy going forward, he said believes the in-memory technology the company acquired from Sybase allows SAP to perform similar functions.

Vishal Sikka, SAP's chief technology officer — and self-proclaimed "newly minted" head of NetWeaver, SAP's middleware offering — claimed Sybase's in-memory technology can bring a deduction in cost, a simplification of technology layers, and an improvement in the overall system. 

He also previewed appliance initiatives with Hewlett-Packard and IBM designed to expand on the in-memory work SAP has previously done with those two companies.

"We think that bringing real-time solutions together with in-memory technology is a much better approach than to take all the layers that have always been around and to put an appliance around them."

The executives also revealed the status of the long-awaited 2.5 version of its on-demand Business ByDesign offering.  

"I feel comfortable," Hagemann Snabe said, "that this technology is now perfected."

The platform is being unveiled at SapphireNow and SAP plans to make the product generally available to customers in July.

"What we set out to do with Business ByDesign," Hagemann Snabe said, "was to change the current rules and offer a more-modern infrastructure for the on-demand business…. Today we already serve approximately 100 customers. Small companies run their entire business on Business ByDesign. It is not a fantasy. It is a real product."

Hagemann Snabe says the reason the launch took so long was because SAP wanted to perfect the infrastructure. Now, he said, SAP has the only on-demand solution with the ability to insert in-memory technology into the platform. 

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine.

You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" below.

CRM Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues

Related Articles

SAP Announces 10 New BusinessObjects Applications

DEMO Fall '10: SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott announces the launch of new applications and champions SAP's partnership ecosystem.

SAP Promises a "Leading" Mobile Platform in 9 Months

Top executives from SAP and its recent Sybase acquisition deliver a corporate roadmap.

Aberdeen Retail Summit Revisits Familiar Topics

Aberdeen Group Retail Summit '10: Two keynotes offer new insight into the impact of social and mobile marketing.

SAP Declares "ByDesign Is Here" (Sort Of)

SapphireNow '10: SAP's co-CEOs deliver back-to-back keynote addresses celebrating not only their first 100 days at the helm, but also the general availability of on-demand offering Business ByDesign 2.5 — two months from now.

SAP Acquires Sybase in $5.8 Billion Deal

The German software giant says it will now be able to offer enterprise software and next-generation business intelligence on mobile devices.

After CEO Ouster, Plattner's Plea: "Please Trust SAP. We Have Not Forgotten You."

Announcing the exit of Chief Executive Officer Léo Apotheker, SAP returns to a "Co-CEO" format, appointing Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe to split leadership duties.

SAP Calls on Companies to Embrace "The New Value"

SAP World Tour '09: Morning keynote addresses challenge attendees to take charge — or risk failure.

On the Scene: Clarity Is SAP’s New Enterprise

SAPPHIRE '09: SAP executives stressed the emerging need for transparency among all enterprises. Did the message ring true?

CIO vs. CFO: The C-Suite Deathmatch

SAPPHIRE '09: Experts attempt to dispel stereotypes about the battles that rage over technology-purchasing decisions.

Speed and Clarity Drive SAP's Success

SAPPHIRE '09: Keynote addresses by several SAP executives reflect the company's desire to quickly deliver business value for companies during the downturn.

SAP Promises "Innovation You Can Trust"

SAPPHIRE '09: SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker lays out his company's roadmap to navigate the economic crisis. "The only antidote to uncertainty is clarity," he says.

Former Oracle Executive to Join SAP

A year out of the spotlight, John Wookey is back on the scene, except now he's playing on a different side.

SAP Retains Market-Share Lead in CRM

Gartner report shows the Wonder of Walldorf still on top—but a lawsuit and other troubles loom.

SAP Looks to ‘Change the Game’

On The Scene: Sapphire 2008 -- One analyst believes the latest from the German juggernaut propels the company squarely back into the CRM 2.0 battle.

SAP Seeks to Tie Up Loose Ends

SAPPHIRE '08: Relying on services-oriented architecture, SAP co-CEO Henning Kagermann believes his company can now help businesses "close the loop" between strategy and execution.

CRM Is All About Teamwork

SAPPHIRE '08: At SAP's annual user conference, the opening keynote address stresses the value of teamwork and its importance to any CRM investment.


Introducing a rebuilt version of its CRM application to run natively on Research In Motion's BlackBerry mobile devices, SAP aims to give companies universal access.

SAP's CRM Gem Upgraded At SAPPHIRE

The mySAP CRM 4.0 upgrade was introduced at SAPPHIRE '03, SAP's annual international customer conference in Orlando, FL.

SAP Takes a Dual Approach

SAPPHIRE '06: The company highlights its hybrid on-demand/on-premise CRM offering, while persistently promoting its enterprise services architecture strategy.

SAP Refocuses on "Fun"

SAP CRM 2008: SAP's overarching theme of "customer co-innovation" goes beyond its newly launched CRM offering, according to company executives.

SAP Goes Vertical

SAPPHIRE '05: SAP releases the latest version of its CRM suite, but analysts cite the company's 'failure' to deliver a hosted application.

SAP's Year-End Model Sports a Facelift

SAP Influencer Summit: The German giant's SAP CRM 2007 -- with a new user interface -- sneaks in under the calendar-year wire.

SAP to Acquire Business Objects

The friendly takeover folds new business intelligence capabilities into one of the leading enterprise software platforms; amidst differing opinions, rumors loom of a counteroffer from Oracle or IBM.

SAP Unveils Its BI Black Box

SAPPHIRE '05 International: The software giant, HP, and Intel combine efforts to produce an appliance that allows more employees to tap into analytic

On the Scene: SAPPHIRE '06: SAP Continues Its Enterprise SOA Push

The enterprise software company underscores its on-demand CRM capabilities while continuing with its enterprise services architecture approach

SAP Targets Enterprise SOA

SAPPHIRE '06: Amid "the industrialization of software," the German juggernaut continues its service-based strategy.

SAP Zeroes In On the Contact Center With M&A

SAPPHIRE '07 International: The company acquires Finland's Wicom Communications; expect to see more large CRM firms buying contact center companies down the pike, according to one analyst.

A New Business Blueprint Stars at SAPPHIRE '05

SAPPHIRE '05: SAP touts its NetWeaver platform/partnership concept as the next evolution in CRM, blending innovation with best-of-breed capabilities.

SAP Sounds Off on SOA and Collaboration

SAPPHIRE '07: The business software giant highlights its enterprise services strategy and champions the importance of business network transformation.

SAP Susses Out 2008

With financial results in hand and Business ByDesign humming along, the vendor offers some thoughts on what's coming next.

Buyer's Guide Companies Mentioned