I started writing this piece after stumbling upon a Reddit post titled “I don’t like SAP”. SAP s an exceptional IT company because its strength comes from business processes, not from technology. Or, to say it with Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard: SAP begins precisely where thinking leaves off. (Original quote: “Faith begins precisely where thinking leaves off.”)
In my view, SAP is a religion. High licensing costs, complex architectures, few choices regarding infrastructure – you have to suspend reason to be content with that. You don’t choose SAP, you fall into it. You take a leap of faith and see where you’ll land. If you don’t like where you end up, you might be inclined to say that you don’t like SAP, period.
SAP itself has created this religion. For years, it didn’t have a coherent narrative or a comprehensive approach to storytelling. It existed in kind of an echo chamber, as SAP doesn’t reside in Silicon Valley, but in a small village in Germany. If you leave SAP’s headquarters in Walldorf and cross the street, you’re still in SAP territory.
This isolated echo chamber might soon be forced open by two new arrivals from Microsoft: Julia White, now Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer, and Oliver Roll, new Chief Communications Officer. Maybe they can escape the religious dogma that is SAP in favor of a more comprehensive storytelling approach.