SAP Declares "ByDesign Is Here" (Sort Of)
ORLANDO, FLA. — Just 100 days ago, German software giant SAP was in a state of flux. The company had just ousted its chief executive officer, Léo Apotheker. The highly anticipated and long-delayed on-demand version of its enterprise software had yet to be released. Quarterly performance had suffered. Hikes in maintenance fees were being proposed. The company's chairman, Hasso Plattner, was driven to plead with customers to trust SAP.
A lot can change in 100 days.
On Day Two of the company's SapphireNow Conference here this week, Co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe delivered back-to-back keynotes addressing the company's $5.8 billion acquisition of Sybase and its much-delayed launch of the on-demand offering Business ByDesign 2.5.
[Editors' Note: Additional coverage of SapphireNow '10 is available on destinationCRM (here) and destinationCRMblog.com (here and here).]
McDermott opened his remarks by detailing the external forces causing businesses to change the way they are run. Globalization, industry consolidation, and massive amounts of data are not only changing how decisions are made, he said, but also how companies interact with each other.
McDermott said that, in his conversations with business leaders, three themes had emerged as a direct result of these changes:
- Businesses are trying to operate in real time;
- they are trying to operate in an "unwired" fashion; and
- they are trying to become sustainable.
The ability to analyze data in real time was a significant reason SAP acquired Sybase, whose in-memory computing will allow SAP to become what McDermott called a "game-changer."
"The volume of data in the world doubles every 18 months," he said. "The opportunity of the century is to create insights out of all this data...a technology like in-memory computing...allows billions of records of data to be analyzed at the speed of thought."
McDermott mentioned China as an example of a market that has become unwired. Consumers there, he claimed, have skipped the PC generation altogether. SAP's view is that the world is going mobile and that business users are going to want to remain connected to customers and each other at all times.
This, McDermott told attendees, was the rationale underpinning the Sybase deal. By leveraging Sybase's mobile platform, SAP intends to make its software available on all devices at all times and in all locations.
"This is about extending [the] end-to-end processes closer to the point of action," McDermott said. "Real value comes when [a retailer] can extend [its] storefront to an m-commerce site. By being unwired you can give access to your customers at any place at any time...either you do it or someone else will do it for you."
Sustainability was also a key issue in McDermott's keynote. He cited Lexmark, a company that was able to slash energy costs by 25 percent, thereby lowering greenhouse gases and also saving $7 million.
"Leaders build companies that last," he said. "And best-run businesses are sustainable businesses."
McDermott's counterpart, Hagemann Snabe, delivered his keynote from Frankfurt, where it was broadcast live to Orlando. Hagemann Snabe detailed how SAP's software would help businesses produce the results mentioned in McDermott's address.
Because of society's growing appetite for technology, Hagemann Snabe argued, businesses need to make faster, more-critical decisions. These decisions, he said, require new information technology architecture — an architecture that SAP has crafted to support its three-tiered software strategy across three delivery models:
- on-demand; and
On-premises software, according to Hagemann Snabe, will help companies to "enhance best practices, and reduce total cost of ownership" by offering "real real-time analytics."
On-demand software will fulfill SAP's desire to provide customers with the ability to make decisions anytime and anywhere.
On-device software will make it possible to for users to operate from all mobile devices.
The three-pronged strategy, the executive told the crowd, is only possible thanks to SAP's long-awaited release of the on-demand offering Business ByDesign 2.5, which SAP is officially unveiling at the conference.
"The next version of ByDesign is here," Hagemann Snabe said. "It isn't fantasy. We have 100 customers and we plan to make it generally available in July."
Hagemann Snabe explained the delay by saying that SAP wanted to perfect the infrastructure of the software before it was released. He shared with attendees his confidence that the solution is ready.
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.
SAP Susses Out 2008
With financial results in hand and Business ByDesign humming along, the vendor offers some thoughts on what's coming next.
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.
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 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.
SAP Targets Enterprise SOA
SAPPHIRE '06: Amid "the industrialization of software," the German juggernaut continues its service-based strategy.
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 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
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'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 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 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 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'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 + RIM = CRM2Go
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.
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.
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.
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 Retains Market-Share Lead in CRM
Gartner report shows the Wonder of Walldorf still on top—but a lawsuit and other troubles loom.
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 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.
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.
CIO vs. CFO: The C-Suite Deathmatch
SAPPHIRE '09: Experts attempt to dispel stereotypes about the battles that rage over technology-purchasing decisions.
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?
SAP Calls on Companies to Embrace "The New Value"
SAP World Tour '09: Morning keynote addresses challenge attendees to take charge — or risk failure.
SAP Sets Sustainability in Motion
With the launch of Business Objects Sustainability Performance Management, SAP wants to provide companies with holistic views into their sustainable strategies and actions.
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 Insists "Mobile Is the New Desktop"
SapphireNow '10: SAP executives explain the recent Sybase acquisition and set a date for the general availability of on-demand software Business ByDesign 2.5.
SAP Promises a "Leading" Mobile Platform in 9 Months
Top executives from SAP and its recent Sybase acquisition deliver a corporate roadmap.
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.