The risk Bill McDermott took was calculated, but he seems to be bad at math. Although a good economic climate and a loyal customer base are enough to keep SAP afloat for now, McDermott’s Hana and cloud visions have no foundation.
SAP customers do not want to rush from R/3 to ERP 6.0 to S/7 with AnyDB to SoH to Hana to S/4 – and they certainly do not want to inevitably end up on SAP Cloud Platform.
Digital transformation requires pioneer spirit: new business processes, procedures, and schedules have to be created, designed and customized. The real challenges lie beyond in-memory, mobile and cloud computing.
A long time ago, there was survival of the fittest: big companies bought small ones, fast companies easily surpassed slow ones. Today, innovational thinking, intelligence and pioneer spirit are indispensable. A solid economics degree and efficient business processes replace the power of hardware and in-memory computing data bases.
If Salesforce and Google cooperate, every attempt at speeding the adoption of Hana up becomes futile. Bill McDermott’s cloud strategy and former CTO Vishal Sikka’s need for speed are not keeping with the times, and SAP will find itself in a dead end by 2020.
Cloud computing – but without SAP
SAP Cloud Platform is one offer among many and does not have a unique selling point – not to mention all the confusion surrounding HEC and HCP. SAP customers are much better off with a cloud exit strategy and a hybrid or multi-cloud concept – if SAP sees the error of its ways with Indirect Access.
Many SAP customers switch to a cloud computing model without even considering SAP’s ERP cloud. Whoever opts for the “wrong” cloud offer has to deal with licensing fees because of Indirect Access.
What SAP customers need first and foremost are affordable tools, platforms and solutions. IoT, machine learning, blockchain and open source are among the most important topics. Here, pioneer spirit is absolutely necessary.
Digital transformation extends the spectrum of ERP massively. Bots, IoT, AI and blockchain are just a few examples.
Regarding these examples, here are some fun little thought experiments: if blockchain is a nearly infinite chain of certificates on computers worldwide, will SAP customers have to pay for Indirect Access? Will every IoT sensor and M2M communication require a license when using SAP Leonardo? Does a bot that uses Leonardo machine learning have to pay AI maintenance fees?
There are no answers from SAP to these questions, and SAP customers who want innovation and pioneer spirit have to deal with the consequences.
Digital transformation has to be conquered and not bypassed at an ever-increasing speed. Bill McDermott needs to realize that, too, otherwise SAP risks its market success.