The current targeted consolidation seems more like SAP cleaning house than anything else. Anything that does not generate a clear double-digit margin will be eliminated. The rest will be given another chance. SAP ex-CEO Leo Apotheker took a similar approach many years ago. As far as his own professional life went, he was successful: he was forced to leave SAP but found a higher-paying job at Hewlett-Packard. But what he left behind for the SAP community was a bloodbath. His concept left no room for non-financial assets, which meant there was nothing left to help support the structure of the company.
Christian Klein seems to be taking a similar route. His behavior seems to be characterized by actionism, which is the excess of change or activity in lieu of stability and constance. It cannot be easy to lead the ERP world market leader with a steady hand through the challenges facing the IT world right now. Even before Christian Klein, ex-Co-CEOs Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott tried to give the company meaningful direction and strategy. In the end, Snabe and McDermott were forced to admit that though they had a myriad of good ideas, they had failed to provide a consistent solution. Now SAP is once again at a turning point and will need a stringent and consistent answer to the numerous challenges it is facing. Probably thinking it was best to keep his head down, Christian Klein made plans to sell Qualtrics and withdraw the ambitious C/4 Hana plans. CRM no longer appears to be a strategic product for SAP; the company’s new focus now lies on logistics and supply chain planning. But because CRM was once an integral part of SAP’s universe, the German-speaking User Group DSAG is already worried about the functionality of the overall system.
Without CRM, something is missing from the ERP orchestra. ERP and SCM are a good combination, but without CRM and with a weak HCM, the SAP system is missing essential components. SAP seems to be a few players short of an orchestra.
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