Sap Leanordo Falling Behind [shutterstock: 1181437858, LanKogal]
[shutterstock: 1181437858, LanKogal]
Blog Last and Least

SAP Is Sleeping On Leonardo’s Potential

Leonardo could have marked SAP’s digital triumph over competitors, but apparently, no one at the ERP company saw its huge potential.

Many see SAP CEO Christian Klein as an innovator through and through. SAP’s most recent acquisition of CRM specialist and newsletter administrator Emarsys is proof of that, as some in the SAP community have said it was nothing short of genius.

I kind of get where they are coming from. Founded in Vienna, Austria, Emarsys leverages many CRM functions that SAP lacks despite (or maybe because of) having acquired Qualtrics. Emarsys also has a broad customer base in the mid-sized sector – exactly where SAP wants to establish its customer experience offers.

Acquiring Emarsys might have saved SAP’s digital transformation efforts in the customer experience and commerce segments, but overall digital transformation at the ERP company has remained elusive ever since former SAP CEO Bill McDermott let former Chief Technology Officer and ‘Mr. Leonardo’ Bernd Leukert go. Leukert went on to work for Deutsche Bank, and Leonardo died.

Leonardo could have marked SAP’s digital triumph over competitors, but apparently, no one at the ERP company saw its potential. Of course, SAP hasn’t stopped talking about IoT, machine learning, or blockchain just because Leonardo is dead, but it’s not leading the pack. It’s trailing behind competitors by a considerable margin, and we’ll have to wait and see if it will ever be able to catch up.

E-3 Magazine November 2020 (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

1 Comment

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  • The first line of this article “Many see SAP CEO Christian Klein as an innovator through and through” shows that either this is a paid article or the author has no clue on SAP or its leadership…..How is the career financial controller who became the CEO of SAP become ” an innovator through and through” ? what innovation are you talking about ? building macros in a spreadsheet?

    “Leonardo could have marked SAP’s digital triumph over competitors” – again, you have no idea about what you are talking about….Leonardo is not a productized solution, but a collection of use cases and scenarios built on HANA cloud platform…it never took off because SAP expected the heavy lifting to be done by partners and customers themselves and merely offered the platform and tools to build you own AI/ML scenarios that are relevant for each customer….it was fancy marketing pitch with nothing substantial to back it up

    Essentially, Leonardo provides tools to help build custom applications on top of SAP Cloud Platform – SAP will use a mix of design thinking workshops and pre-built Proof of Concept apps (focused on industry scenarios) to showcase what is possible with their cloud platform around IoT/big data use cases, and then package it and sell it as Leonardo Apps (Cloud Platform + Consulting Services).

    Please do your research before peddling half baked theories in the name of expert opinion

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