Cloud Only Is Not Enough, McDermott
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Cloud Only Is Not Enough, McDermott

SAP CEO Bill McDermott adopted a “Cloud Only” strategy. Now, he has to bear the consequences.

Hyper scalers and many SAP partners did it better: they did not fanatically try to establish a “Cloud Only” dogma, but instead let SAP customers decide for themselves between on-premise, public cloud, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, whatever.

IT providers like NetApp have recognized the sign of the times and began early on to develop specific tools and architectures. SAP customers can for example find a kind of SolMan solution for hybrid cloud in NetApp’s product portfolio.

For SAP CEO Bill McDermott, however, the cloud revenue is the only thing that counts. Solution offerings, architectures, know-how, consulting, transformation – that’s all irrelevant to McDermott. He only cares about cloud subscriptions.

What SAP did not consider

Without consulting services and support, even the most intelligent user will not find a way into the cloud by themselves. They just don’t know how to navigate this new terrain yet, and they shouldn’t have to. Cloud providers like SAP should have the necessary know-how to simplify a customer’s journey to the cloud.

However, SAP has not invested in education and know-how over the past few years. “Cloud First” and “Cloud Only” were not an invitation for customers to migrate to the cloud together with SAP, but rather a way for Bill McDermott to achieve his revenue goals.

The SAP community has know-how; SAP partners have it abundantly. SAP could have just asked them for help. But like a stubborn child, Bill McDermott went and rather bought Qualtrics for 8 billion U.S. dollars instead.

SAP had many opportunities to build up a reasonable roadmap towards cloud – and favored acquisitions instead. Now, SAP has neither enough cloud staff nor enough cloud tools. AWS, Google, Microsoft, and IT providers like NetApp have a better answer: hybrid cloud first! This also entails a lot of on-premise know-how – never change a running system!

E-3 Magazine March 2019 (German)

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

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