Having spent my days at SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 in Orlando last week i must admit that I’m really impressed by what SAP showed. Besides one of the most stylish exhibit hall designs amongst all tech shows, the three days of the event were packed with interesting keynotes, great breakout sessions, and exciting tech business conversations.
Run simple was the main theme of the show.
As SAP’s CEO Bill McDermott started off with (re-)comitting to simplicity in the main keynote during day one, it became clear that customers and partners were not really happy with SAP’s achievements after last year’s SAPPHIRE NOW event in 2013 in terms of simplifying work with SAP software for every user. Making Fiori the new Freeori is a great first move by SAP as it shows that they are listening to what users want – great apps with a user-centric UX.
Around 25,000 attendees were onsite and 250,000 folks online experienced how a supertanker like SAP is finally getting the right turn to prepare itself for a successful future in a competitive environment where agile cloud companies like Workday and Salesforce.com are making enterprise salespeople‘s lives quite challenging.
Hasso Plattner’s keynote on the second day talked about a serious business transformation topic, new offerings in the financial work (aka Simple Finance), and his favorite topic, HANA, actually was a perfect example of why SAP is still the most successfull vendor in the ERP world. They know what their customers want as they understand their business and all the complexities that are coming with that business. SAP is really trying to support its customers with finding better solutions for complex probems based on a combination of new approaches (e.g. Simple Finance) and modern technology (e.g. HANA).
SAP’s newfound agility combined with top-notch mature technology shows that we are teaming up with the right key partner in the ERP space. I must admit that during the last few years I thought SAP has been struggling to find its place in the new IT world, but now as I met the new SAP in Orlando last week I can truly say that this great company is back on track. This is not only excellent for all SAP customers, but even more for companies like us who are betting on the fortune of their key partner SAP.