Day Two Wrap-Up: SAP Influencer Summit

SAP devoted the second day of SAP Influencer Summit 2010 to its on-demand solutions and roadmap. Presenting to a room full of analysts, bloggers and reporters typing “#sapsummit” into every message they tweeted, Peter Lorenz, executive vice president and corporate officer, kicked off the day with SAP’s perspective on cloud computing for the enterprise.

Lorenz classified the on-demand needs of business according to size. While most companies enjoy on-demand solutions for their quick implementation times and lower — and sometimes fixed — implementation costs, Lorenz said large enterprises in particular are looking for improvements to line-of-business processes and support for business-network transformation, while small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) are more concerned with growing without capital expenditures, globalization and the flexibility to start small and then expand.

In addition, for all enterprises, Lorenz said, “Disruption on the core is forbidden. We are focusing on smooth innovation at the core and innovation at the edges — with higher speed.”

Lorenz also acknowledged that, “The world is not cleanly on-demand or on-premise. We see the world going hybrid. Companies will choose services for different purposes — from both public and private clouds — integrated with on-premise solutions.”

Moving forward, SAP’s goals are providing a comprehensive on-demand portfolio, SAP Business ByDesign for subsidiaries and line-of-business solutions such as career, travel and sales, among others.

Lorenz also noted that “on demand” is more than a technical discussion; like in memory, it opens up new possibilities of what can be done in business, which SAP is exploring in developing new applications.

John Wookey, executive vice president of Large Enterprise On-Demand, followed on this theme: “The applications industry is constantly reinventing itself because people keep changing. To do our job well in the software industry we must come as close as possible to supporting how people really work together. We focus not just on how we solve business problems but on how people achieve objectives.”

Customers share on-demand experiences

In a panel presentation, four customers took the stage to discuss their experience with on-demand solutions from SAP. Greg Dunn, CFO of juice beverage maker Sambazon, spoke first. Sambazon sells to major grocery chains such as Whole Foods, CostCo and Walmart, and recently the company evaluated many systems to help get a handle on material requirements planning (MRP) modules given they have a perishable product and don’t want to produce too much or too little. They selected SAP Business ByDesign because it doesn’t require IT infrastructure, can be quickly implemented and has the functionality Sambazon needed. Dunn added that the solution took just one month to implement, and that it has been up and running (quite well) since March.

Steve Cochran, director of Information Services at King Arthur Flour, a 220-year-old flour company, implemented SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand last summer. “Our strategic driver,” Cochran said, “was: ‘How can we develop our people to sustain growth? How can we raise the level of analytic ability and accessibility throughout the company to allow it to continue to grow?’” SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand provided the answer and was up and running in one month.

King Arthur Flour worked with both SAP and Oco Business Analytics to complete the project and is one of many companies tapping into the rich ecosystem SAP has developed to bring greater value to customers.

Joseph Schramm, VP of business development at Oco, said that the co-marketing experience with SAP has been excellent, as has the company’s symbiotic relationship with SAP’s field organization. “Since we’ve been a partner,” said Schramm, “revenue opportunities through SAP have scaled. In 2009, we could attribute 10 percent of our bookings to our SAP partnership. This year, that number will reach 30 percent and we anticipate it will reach 50 percent in 2011.”

Eric Renouard, executive director of Global SAP Technology at Accenture, expressed his excitement that, “The cloud computing paradigm is now here. We recently did a survey of 700 companies and 99 percent of them either had cloud computing in their architecture or expected to in the next 18 months.”

Wrapping up the presentations, IDC analyst Carl Olofson remarked on Twitter: “Very strong, very comprehensive OD [on-demand] story for SAP. Anyone who thinks cloud leadership is settled, think again.”