There are two sides to the analysis of SAP’s strategy. On the one hand, SAP has absolutely made the right decision with Linux. To give the relatively new database Hana an Open Source platform is a clever strategy. Nowadays, it is not only about the combination of Linux and Hana, but also about numerous Open Source components like CloudFoundry, OpenStack, GitHub, and so on.
SAP’s decision to go with the strategies “Cloud First“ and “Cloud Only“ is a disaster, however. German SAP user group DSAG gave a very accurate statement: “Cloud Only“ will maneuver ERP into a crisis. SAP will not succeed in making cloud computing its unique selling point. Its competitors – AWS, MS Azure, Google – are simply out of SAP’s league.
The current cloud trend, hybrid cloud, is not fitting in with SAP’s existing concept, anyway. SAP barely accepted multi-cloud – only as long as its own cloud platform was the leading one in a bundle with AWS, Azure and Google. But hybrid cloud? The combination of on-premise and on-demand, of private cloud and public cloud, is not compatible with SAP’s dogma “Cloud Only“.
Others do it better: IBM took over Red Hat, and together they will create a convincing hybrid cloud concept. A lot is at stake for IBM, because it already ranks behind AWS, MS Azure, Google and Alibaba. And where is SAP in all this? Nobody really wants to know.
SAP could adapt its strategy “Cloud Only“ and acquire Suse Linux. As part of SAP, Suse could be a major factor for future success with Hana.
With the help of these specialists, the software company could also create a convincing Open Source concept for the SAP community – as an on-premise and cloud solution. With Suse’s know-how, SAP could rewrite cloud history with a completely new, this time sustainable and verified strategy.