Does SAP’s “Open Ecosystem” Boost Financial Performance?

SAP recently announced its first-quarter financial results, the fifth consecutive quarter of strong, double-digit growth for the company. One reason for SAP’s impressive financial performance involves customers that are embracing SAP’s “innovation and open ecosystem strategy,” according to SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott. Does a robust ecosystem really boost financial performance? Members from SAP’s mentor community weigh in.


“I think SAP’s commitment to an open ecosystem helps customers make a purchase decision. With my SAP Community Network contacts, if I’m considering expanding my SAP footprint I can quickly find people who are willing to really tell me what they think of the solution beyond the handful of customers that are willing to act as a reference.”

Jamie Oswald, Arch Coal, Inc. (Click here to read Jamie’s blog)


“The open ecosystem strategy is putting SAP on a path toward successfully engaging and leveraging the innovative resources in partner and customer organizations, creating real collaborative efforts that will drive tomorrow’s technology innovations. Ultimately, I believe that this will be a successful model that other vendors will be forced to join, adopt, or risk being left behind.”

David Hull, Walt Disney (Click here to read David’s blog)


“One of the biggest challenges of a large multinational company like SAP is responding quickly to the needs and demands of the market.  SAP has demonstrated not only their ability to respond to the needs in their markets for mobile solutions, but to lead the market by acquiring Sybase in 2010.”

Kevin Benedict (Click here to read Kevin’s blog)


“The open ecosystem, via the SAP Community Network, offers co-the innovation features he talked about on the Innovation Center.  Through SCN, SAP has open outreach to customers, partners, and universities with exciting offerings in analytics, cloud, and in-memory.  The system is open via its ramp-up process to test the software and quickly accept and respond to community feedback.”

– Tammy Powlas (Click here to read Tammy’s blog)


“The key question is whether SAP will deliver additional product for customers to buy within the 2011 timeline and product announcements at SAPPHIRE will likely give a view to this. The challenge to SAP is that any announcement of further delays to key products like BI4, HANA, BS7i2010 and Gateway may jeopardize this and further depress share prices. The opportunity is that products delivered on time and with agile delivery methodologies may allow SAP to capitalize on the groundswell in its customer base.”

John Appleby (Click here to read John’s blog)


“In terms of Bill McDermott’s comments, I’m a big fan of SAP’s ‘open ecosystem’ approach, but I have yet to see any firm numbers connecting the SAP community to SAP’s quarterly earnings. However, my gut tells me that prospective (and existing) SAP customers have a higher level of comfort based on the caliber of content and conversations in the SAP ecosystem. As far as this earnings report is concerned, I’m still in a wait and see mode. By that I mean I’m waiting for SAP’s on-demand/on-device/in-memory next-generation-ERP vision to manifest in the earnings results. When it does, we’ll see signs such as an increase in subscription revenues (which did not increase in this announcement), and also a major increase in ‘indirect’ partner revenues which is one of SAP’s stated goals for the year. One new revenue stream that SAP has established firmly is via analytics, and this is a promising sign. I think we’re all looking forward to SAPPHIRE NOW to get more insight into how SAP is evolving and what customers have to say about it.”

– Jon Reed, (Click here to read Jon’s blog)