SAP: Still a Patchy Cloud Strategy

This week SAP announced further enhancements to its cloud strategy at SAPPHIRE Orlando. Which is about time – as the company in 2012 has only announced loosely coupled cloud initiatives, the acquisition of SuccessFactors in February 2012 being the most significant.

In summary:

  • SAP set up a cloud division with 5000 people in the team
  • SAP regrouped its cloud solutions into four lines of business:  people, money, customers and suppliers

The other announcements do not really give us anything new. We already knew from last year’s SAPPHIRE that SAP has the capacity and ambition to combine, mobile (Sybase), social and analytics (HANA).

From a SaaS perspective, SAP is well on its way with SAP Business byDesign and onDemand solutions. From a PaaS perspective, SAP last year expected over a 1000 applications developed using the SAP NetWeaver Gateway. In the current announcement there is no mention of numbers, but SAP did announce the planned availability of SAP NetWeaver Cloud as its unified platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering. In addition SAP mentions the SAP Integration-as-a-Service (not to be confused with Infrastructure-as-a-Service), where it intends to offer SAP cloud-based integration technology to integrate SAP cloud solutions to other SAP or on premise solutions. This technology will be available for third parties as well.

To be honest, this press release does not convince us that various patches of expertise integrate into one larger cloud design for SAP. A particular sentence in SAP’s press release underlines our hesitance to get really warmed up to their cloud solutions:

“(…) SAP is now investing more than 5,000 people dedicated to designing, building and delivering beautiful cloud solutions that enable people to love work again and perform at their best.”

At best, this effort tells us that SAP is still committed to the cloud, investing sufficient resources, and aligning its internal and available expertise. If I were a customer, I’d still be hesitant to migrate my SAP solutions to the cloud. If I’m a partner, I would not wait for the SAP cloud but set my own course.

Over the next week we will take a deeper dive into SAPPHIRE Orlando, in particular the partner tracks. Let’s hope a closer look will change our minds.

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About Simone de Bruin