Lars Unveils Cloud Strategy to Customers

The new head of SAP's cloud unit, Lars Dalgaard, discussed strategy and solutions. (Photo: SAP)

SAP Executive Board member and head of its cloud business unit stated the bold intentions succinctly: “Bring the biggest business apps provider in the world completely into the cloud.” His exuberance was matched only by his confidence: “We are completely ready.” SuccessFactors has brought incredible productivity gains for its customers pre-acquisition. The recently formed Cloud business unit, led by Lars, serves more than 17 million users. Now it looks to serve millions more.

With scale that covers companies of various sizes for a total of 56.8 million product users, Lars believes the company is now ready to take on a whole new wave of users. Lars called on customers in the audience to back him up. They obliged: A representative from joint SAP and SuccessFactors customer Under Armour stood up to attest to how businesses with both SAP and SuccessFactors in their landscape can benefit from the now combined talents and expertise.

To SAP’s expertise and intellectual property, SuccessFactors adds simplicity and speed, a people-centric design, and a beautiful user experience, Lars said. This, in addition to the cost benefits and agility of the cloud. The stage was set for the imparting of a clear strategy.

On the next page, we lay out the cloud strategy across four categories.

Obviously itching to deliver his first keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW, executive board member Lars Dalgaard takes the stage. (Photo: SAP)

The official unveiling of the cloud strategy revealed cloud solutions for four lines of business. SAP plans to offer these solutions in a consistent way and integrate them into ERP business software. SAP will focus on four categories in the cloud, spanning “people,” “money,” “customers,” and “suppliers.”

A growing portfolio of on-demand solutions

Among the “money” offerings, the companies will offer SAP Financials OnDemand, targeted at large enterprise customers to help them manage their core financials, as well as order-to-cash, and invoice-to-pay processes.

Within the “customer” category of offerings, the companies will sell SAP Sales OnDemand, with new integration to the on-premise SAP Business Suite. SAP also announced the general availability of the SAP Social Customer Engagement OnDemand solution, which helps companies engage intelligently with their customers via social media such as Facebook and Twitter. “Cloud is so real when it comes to social,” Lars emphasized.

For “suppliers,” SAP will continue to invest in, among others, the SAP Sourcing OnDemand solution for sourcing, supplier and contract lifecycle management, as well as its business network solutions, including the SAP Information Interchange OnDemand solution. For more information on the offerings within these categories, see the full press release.

Lars Dalgaard demos SAP Sales OnDemand (Photo:SAP)

Since the close of SAP’s acquisition of SuccessFactors, in February 2012, the combined teams joined forces to begin delivering on an accelerated cloud strategy. Together SAP and SuccessFactors have more than 5,000 people committed to designing, building, and delivering cloud solutions.

The power of these offerings, Lars contended, will be in their convergence with SAP’s other technologies, such as mobile, and SAP HANA. Particularly, with SAP HANA, SuccessFactors was able to boost the performance of its permission control procedures by an average of 1200% – one particular procedure by more than 5000%.

SAP Business One OnDemand for small businesses

Lars wasn’t content with showing attendees what these cloud solutions could do for customers. He made a point of telling the audience that there has been a healthy practice of cross-pollination between the companies and their cloud-based solutions. In the last several weeks SuccessFactors rolled out SAP Sales OnDemand, SAP Sourcing OnDemand, SAP Travel OnDemand, and SAP Business ByDesign. For its part, SAP will run SuccessFactors BizX suite internally as its new human capital management system. The system is available to every SAP employee as of May 14.

SAP will continue to offer fully integrated suites in the cloud, with SAP Business ByDesign for mid-market customers via its reseller channels and for subsidiaries of large enterprise customers. As Lars emphasized in a briefing with analysts after his keynote, “SAP Business ByDesign is alive and kicking.” The companies will continue to sell SAP Business One OnDemand as well for small businesses.

It was clear from his exuberance that Lars Dalgaard had been itching to get the word out.