Born in Norway, lived in Switzerland and Spain, now living in the south of France. Educated at ETH Zürich, Switzerland and INSEAD, France. Done multiple LBOs, founded a few companies and advised on Mergers & Acquisitions world wide. Now entirely focused on Enterprise Software and a radical break with all former how-to-run-your-business assumptions and systems architecture - distilled into a new solution named Thingamy. Spending time off running orienteering races, cycling, skiing and snowboarding.
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4 responses to “Don’t touch the core”

  1. David Stocker

    Innovation is easy when you are a startup with no legacy and no commitments to existing customers.

    SAP’s innovation problem is not any different than Microsoft’s innovation problem. How long did it take to move the DOS world to the NT codebase? Six or seven years of win32 with DOS heritage operating systems (the whole Win95-ME series). MS would probably have liked to have made that jump in one swoop in 1994 when they released NT 3.1, but it took until they released XP. They knew where they wanted to go, but they could not because the customers did not want it. They wanted DOS with better memory management; faster horses to paraphrase Henry Ford.

    “They want faster horses” is a common quip within SAP.

    On the flip side, analysts and bloggers are no different than customers. You speak of it all being about SaaS, in memory and on-device. Building an in memory, SaaS app that runs on an iPad may be fashionable, but is it really innovation? Fashionable != innovative, but people often conflate the two.

  2. Steve Bogner

    I agree with David regarding SAP having to also care for a large installed based. There are two other points – first, SAP has continued to tweak the core functionality. Yes, it’s not making big breakthrough changes in the core, but it’s certainly not a complete hands-off situation either. And second – I think that by working around the fringes SAP is also responding to customers who want more value in those areas. There isn’t much value that can be squeezed out of the core, but a lot of it is there around the edges. So it’s wise for them to invest in those areas.