Digital Core: SAP's Heart is Dying
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Digital Core: SAP’s Heart is Dying

SAP is not doing so great right now. But then again, a company is only as good as its CEO.

More optimistic SAP customers might not think anything bad of it. Maybe this is a necessary change of pace, an important renewal? Not quite. The leading ERP company seems to think that it already has thrown enough innovations (if you can even call them that) onto the market in recent years. SAP stopped putting its heart and soul into its technology.

SAP CEO Bill McDermott has a new mantra, and is forcing his employees to adopt it too; the only thing that counts is revenue and sales. SAP’s heart is withering every time he reiterates.

SAP’s heart combined curiosity, partnership, collaboration, and innovation. But the people that made it beat, like founder Dietmar Hopp, former CEO Henning Kagermann, former executive board member Gerd Oswald, and even former CTO Bernd Leukert and Bjoern Goerke are not around anymore.

The majority of SAP’s management now consists of enthusiastic salesmen and people responsible for revenue growth. Under these circumstances, it is understandable that SAP’s heart is withering away.

Digital core: lean, efficient, clean – dying?

Once upon a time, Bjoern Goerke was still an active member of SAP’s staff. During his keynote at TechEd 2018 in Barcelona, he talked about the digital core. He said to keep SAP’s heart lean, efficient, and clean – additions and applications belong on the SAP Cloud Platform.

In retrospect, the phrase “keep the digital core clean” is rather ambiguous, and can be interpreted technologically and historically.

SAP CEO Bill McDermott neither cares about technology nor SAP’s history and tradition. He is only interested in SAP’s margin and stock price. If he will remain pure in heart with this strategy remains to be seen.

As of yet, we do not know anything about the future plans of former SAP CTO Bernd Leukert and former President SAP Cloud Platform Bjoern Goerke. Both of them are still active on Twitter, at least.

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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  • Wow, assumptions and guesses on what happens inside SAP. Could you share real reliable info instead of one guy’s perspective and what he thinks of this situation?

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