SAPs thin skin

When I met Mark Hurd at OOW this week I complimented the fact that Larry Ellison was so on-message in both his keynotes. Mark smiled, probably thinking back to one point in the Sunday keynote where Larry apologized to Mark, and went off message. It would not be Larry if he did not tell a corny joke or tweaked a competitor in one of his keynotes or quarterly calls.

If anything, I worried if Joe Tucci of EMC was offended by Larry’s cloud talk before his own OOW keynote a day later. Instead it was SAP which blew a gasket. As Dennis Howlett writes, SAP hijacked Oracle Open World twitter hashtags to respond to a Larry comment during his keynote.

In doing so, SAP brought attention to two major facts:

  • It is still beholden to IBM (and other big partners). Not sure it is smart to remind customers and prospects, its expensive ERP ecosystem albatross continues in the new world of cloud, mobile, social, analytical applications.
  • It has only 600 customers for HANA. For a product which its leadership has been talking about for years, to only show the equivalent of 0.5% penetration of its customer base is the equivalent of  a scenario where Tim Cook reports in 2015 that the iPhone 5 has sold only a few thousand units.

If I were SAP, I would be much more worried:

  • That Oracle is poised to build out the most elaborate cloud infrastructure in enterprise tech, which will make SAP’s data center investments around BYD and SuccessFactors look miniscule.
  • That Oracle’s social and customer experience applications position it much better as the market pivots toward revenue focused IT, whereas SAP continues to be focused on control and compliance IT
  • That the names Salesforce, Workday and NetSuite came up many, many more times during OOW than SAP’.

(Cross-posted @ DealArchitect Full)

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CEO of Deal Architect, a top advisory boutique recognized in The Black Book of Outsourcing, author of a widely praised book on technology enabled innovation, The New Polymath, prolific blogger, writing about technology-enabled innovation at New Florence, New Renaissance and about waste in technology at Deal Architect.  Previously Analyst  at Gartner, Partner with PwC Consulting. Keynoted at many business and technology conferences and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, CIO Magazine, and other executive and technology publications.

2 responses to “SAPs thin skin”

  1. SAP Exec: Oracle CEO’s Claim ‘Fries My Brain’ – InformationWeek |

    […] back at Oracle: "More hardware, very little substance"ITProPortalBtoB Magazine -Enterprise Irregulars -IT Jungleall 28 news […]

  2. B S

    2 excellent and incisive articles on SAP HANA vs. Microsoft BI. Good to have analysts author these type of articles to make things transparent