Looking Back at 2012

Photo: SAP AG

We summarized the most important events for you. A look back at the year 2012:

First Consumer App on SAP HANA

In many ways, the year 2012 was all about SAP HANA. The first consumer app based on the new in-memory technology debuted in the U.S. in February. Recalls Plus is a free consumer app that provides information about recall campaigns for children’s products, helping parents find out about strollers, car seats, cribs and toys that have been recalled due to defects. Parents can form networks and forward information about recalls to other parents. Six months after its debut, SAP was selected to present the app at the White House. At the country’s first “Safety Datapalooza”, companies gathered to present products and services that use data from U.S. government agencies to advance public safety.

The Recalls Plus app is currently only available in the U.S. It can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play and is also available for Facebook.

Read more about Recalls Plus and “Safety Datapalooza”.

SAP HANA for the Midmarket

Also in February, SAP released two new SAP HANA products for the midmarket. SAP Business One enables even the smallest companies to manage their business processes centrally – after all, they also produce a wealth of data. And now with analytics powered by SAP HANA for SAP Business One, customers can evaluate this data even more quickly and run real-time analyses. Improved analytics and reporting functions, along with predefined dashboards, support their work.

SAP HANA, Edge edition targets the larger midmarket solution, SAP Business All-in-One. When combined with the SAP BusinessObjects Edge solution, it lets companies take advantage of advanced BI functions.

Read more about SAP HANA for the midmarket and an interview on the topic.

Lars Delgaard at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando. Photo: SAP

SuccessFactors Becomes an SAP Company

Another highlight at the beginning of the year: Cloud computing specialist SuccessFactors became part of SAP. Through the merger with this Californian company, SAP sharpened its focus on the dynamic cloud domain. Lars Dalgaard, CEO of SuccessFactors, was appointed to the SAP Executive Board, where he is responsible for cloud solutions. At SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, Florida, in May, Dalgaard explained how the two companies fit together and how they intend to implement their accelerated cloud strategy. To SAP’s expertise and intellectual property, SuccessFactors adds simplicity and speed, a people-centric design, and a beautiful user experience, Dalgaard said. The strength of the combined cloud solutions lies in their interaction with other SAP technologies, such as mobile solutions and the SAP HANA platform.

Read more about the SuccessFactors acquisition and Dalgaard’s take on SAP’s cloud strategy.

SAP Business One Moves to the Cloud

SAP introduced SAP Business One OnDemand at CeBIT 2012 in March. With the on-demand solution for small companies, SAP has taken yet another step toward the cloud. It enables SMEs to reduce their long-term expenditures for servers, maintenance, and staff.

The world’s largest trade fair for IT also delivered news for SAP Business One’s “big brother”: SAP Business ByDesign. The cloud solution now has new functions for iPads and iPhones, including a quotation viewer, account management, lead and opportunity management, and time and task recording. In addition, the invoicing process for service providers has been optimized and features have also been added for sales and production.

Read more about SAP Business One in the cloud.

First SAP Startup Forum in Palo Alto

Innovation was the major focus of the SAP Startup Forum in Palo Alto, California. On March 7, founders of many young companies met to collaborate, exchange information, and above all to discuss the topic of big data. They presented various concepts for deploying SAP HANA: to improve planning and MRP in the manufacturing industry, as a platform for online games, or to optimize SAP’s own products. SAP Ventures, an independent investment firm that is affiliated with SAP, also made a presentation and spoke with the attendees about possibilities for collaboration. A small competition was also held, in which the company founders voted on the best ideas among their submissions in several categories; the winning concepts were then presented to SAP employees in Palo Alto.

The SAP Startup Forum in Silicon Valley was the first of a series of such events that took place over the year in cities like Seattle, Tel Aviv, Beijing, Bangalore, and Berlin. A jury selected the most promising ideas at each event and invited the companies to join the SAP Startup Focus program.

Read more about the SAP Startup Forum in Palo Alto and in Berlin.

Photo: SAP AG

Happy Birthday! 40 Years of SAP

On April 1, 1972, five former IBM employees founded a small company and began to develop the first real-time business applications for what was to become SAP. Forty years later, their idea has grown into a global player with more than 55,000 employees in over 50 countries. On the occasion of its anniversary this year, SAP published a Web magazine called SAP Milestones. The magazine presents the history of SAP, explains how SAP software affects our lives, and provides insights into the future of IT – all in a creative way. It can be accessed by any internet-enabled device. Other anniversary projects include the “Inspiration Pavillon”, an interactive exhibition on SAP history and innovations at the company’s Walldorf headquarters, and a gala charity concert (benefitting the World Childhood Foundation) held in Mannheim, Germany, where the first SAP office opened 40 years ago.

Read SAP Milestones.

SAP Announces Database Ambitions

At a press conference in San Francisco in April, SAP announced its aspirations to become a leading database vendor by 2015. Their ambitions center on the SAP HANA in-memory database platform. It is the fastest-growing product in SAP’s history, said Steve Lucas, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Database & Technology at SAP. “SAP HANA is the driving force we need to become a true technology and database company,” according to Lucas. With its own database products, SAP intends to offer its customers an alternative to competitors’ products that currently run SAP ERP and other applications. The company also intends to engage new markets, including healthcare, preventive maintenance, real-time banking, and consumer applications.

Read more about SAP’s database strategy.

Partner Syclo Becomes Part of SAP

SAP acquired another major company in 2012: Syclo, a U.S. company that was already an SAP partner. With this acquisition, the company has broadened its spectrum in the mobile arena, thanks to the mobile business applications and technologies that Syclo builds and distributes. In April, the combination of Syclo’s Smart Mobile Applications Suite and SAP Business Suite began making business better for employees who are traditionally on the go, such as field staff. The solutions also benefit employees from other areas who are increasingly using smartphones, tablets and other smart devices in their day-to-day work.

Bill McDermott at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando. Photo: SAP

SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando and One Year of SAP HANA

SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP’s largest company showcase, took place over three days in May in Orlando, Florida. In addition to the keynotes, demo sessions, and panel discussions, more than 240 exhibitors and SAP partners presented new products. ASUG, one of the largest SAP user groups, also held its traditional meeting at SAPPHIRE NOW.

SAP HANA was an ever-present topic at this event as well: SAP co-founder and Supervisory Board chair Hasso Plattner dedicated his keynote to recalling the inception of the in-memory technology and how well it has been received by customers. Just one month later, on June 18, SAP HANA celebrated the first anniversary of its general availability.

Listen to SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott’s keynote atSAPPHIRE NOW.

Read more about how SAP HANA helps improve cancer treatment.

SAP Supports the “It Gets Better” Project

In response to a tragic event, SAP joined the “It Gets Better” project in June. Jeffrey Fehr, the 18-year-old son of Steve Fehr, Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Segment at SAP, took his own life on New Year’s Day 2012. He had been discriminated against and bullied as a result of his homosexuality. Several SAP employees were familar with the “It Gets Better” project, which syndicated columnist Dan Savage started to help prevent suicides among LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender) youth. They produced a video, together with the Fehr family, that included statements of support from SAP employees and executives. The “It Gets Better” project is supported by people around the world (including U.S. President Barack Obama) and many major corporations.

Read more about the project and watch the video.

Luisa Delgado, Chief Human Resources Officer at SAP. Photo: SAP/ Carina Kircher

Luisa Deplazes Delgado Appointed New Chief Human Resources Officer

In September, Luisa Deplazes Delgado was appointed Chief Human Resources Officer. She contributes more than 20 years of experience, most notably from her work in HR at Procter & Gamble (P&G), to the Group. She most recently served as CEO and Managing Director of P&G Nordic, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. With its appointment of Swiss-born Delgado, SAP is intensifying the focus of its HR strategy on executive and employee development. Her other duties include staff recruitment and simplification of the company’s organizational structure.

Acquisition of Ariba

Ariba, the leading supplier of cloud-based networks, was acquired by SAP in October. As a result of the acquisition, SAP can now offer new intercompany collaboration models that enable buyers and sellers around the world to network with one another through cloud solutions. The purchase elevates SAP to the top of the ranks in business networks, complementing its existing applications with solutions for cross-company collaboration.

Read more about the acquisition.

Oracle Dispute

By August, an end to the intellectual property dispute with Oracle, stemming from the TomorrowNow case, was in sight. The legal proceedings resulted in a judgment with compensation for assessed damages. Yet the joy over the settlement was short-lived – Oracle has appealed the decision. Nor was the rest of the year characterized by peace and harmony: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison increased tensions at the “Oracle Open World” conference in October with a dig at SAP HANA that played fast and loose with reality.

Read more about the dispute.

Viva SAP HANA in Las Vegas

The first SAP TechEd of the year took place in Las Vegas in October. This event was the largest of four conferences of this kind in 2012. The participants included members of the SAP Community Network, SAP’s customer and partner network. SAP TechEd gives visitors a platform for making contacts and sharing their experiences with SAP solutions. The presentations covered current developments in the areas of analytics, mobile, cloud, database, and in-memory computing, with SAP HANA and associated innovations as the prime focus. But the biggest round of applause probably went to the trio of middle school students who presented their iPhone app for SAP at the DemoJam development competition. They nearly took first place.

Read more about the kids at DemoJam and reports from SAP TechEd.

Jim Hagemann Snabe at SAPPHIRE NOW. Photo: SAP

Windows 8 Apps at SAPPHIRE NOW in Madrid

SAP partners and customers gathered at this annual event in Madrid in November to share their experiences and find out more about SAP NetWeaver, analytics, and mobile solutions. A highlight of the conference came on the heels of the market launch of Windows 8. The new Microsoft operating system for desktop PCs, tablets, and smartphones hit the market on October 26. On November 14, at SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP presented its first six mobile business apps for Windows 8. All six concentrate on boosting employee productivity, with functions covering areas such as training, recruiting, and sales.

Read more about the six SAP apps on Windows 8.

More Information

Read this summary of SAP highlights in 2012 written by Dennis Howlett.

Video Review from SAP TV: