FRANKFURT, Germany and ORLANDO, Fla. – May 18, 2010 – Marking their 100th day as co-CEOs of SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe today addressed an on-site and online audience of 50,000 customers, partners and employees at SAPPHIRE® NOW, being held simultaneously in Frankfurt, Germany, and Orlando, Florida, May 17-19, 2010. In their keynote speeches, the co-CEOs acknowledged that a convergence of market forces – including globalization, industry consolidation, mobility and an explosion of data – are changing how business is run. Successful business leaders are viewing this convergence as a defining moment, one that compels enterprises to run better in real time, with unwired and sustainable operations. To help customers achieve these goals, McDermott and Snabe today outlined a product strategy that extends the availability of SAP product offerings on premise, on demand and on device – all orchestrated as networked solutions on the market’s most scalable, feature-rich and stable core platform.
Bill McDermott Identifies Leadership Characteristics of Best-Run Enterprises of the Future
Speaking live from Orlando and broadcast simultaneously in Frankfurt, McDermott acknowledged the unstoppable forces reshaping business today, and how companies will need to respond to grow their business, empower their people, inspire their customers and transform their business networks. Demonstrating that connectivity is creating data at an explosive rate, McDermott encouraged business leaders to take “the opportunity of the century” to create new insights out of this explosion of data. He also acknowledged that much of today’s needs for insight exceed yesterday’s technology, and that the time for change has come. Today’s leading companies require a “virtual boardroom” that enables workers at all levels of the organization – from the shop floor to the boardroom – to make better decisions in real time to grow the business. “SAP’s commitment to in-memory computing and technologies that enable real-time transparencies is helping companies gain the insight they need to make decisions that are best for the business,” said McDermott.
McDermott went on to say that enterprise workers today expect their business applications to be mobile and closer to the point of action. “When you mobilize people, they can do amazing work. It unlocks the value of your platform across the entire enterprise and allows people to literally make decisions in flight. Workers are no longer tethered to the desktop. In fact, mobility is the new desktop,” proclaimed McDermott. Citing mobility as an unstoppable force, McDermott announced that SAP is taking bold steps to unwire its customers. He referenced the recent news of SAP’s intent to acquire Sybase as an example of the company’s commitment to mobile technologies. The combined company will be the only provider of a full suite of enterprise software and next-generation business intelligence on any device at any place at any time, McDermott stated.
Finally, McDermott identified best-run businesses as those that are sustainable in the long term, not only environmentally, but economically and socially as well. Along with managing environmental concerns such as carbon emissions, smart companies are running lean to feed the innovation machine and compete in the global marketplace. Socially, customers will judge a business by its sustainability and compliance practices, and will vote with their wallets. “It takes a lifetime to build a brand, and just one incident to tear it down. One bad review on a website or blog can impact sales in a minute. In a volatile, digitized economy, managing risks and ensuring compliance has never been more crucial. Sustainability is the ultimate leadership priority,” stated McDermott. By consolidating redundant technologies and introducing sustainable alternatives, SAP customers have significantly cut IT spending and reduced environmental impact, all while enhancing customer loyalty.
“At SAP, we have galvanized our workforce and our entire ecosystem around a common purpose: to make every customer a best-run business,” concluded McDermott. “From our exhaustive conversations with customers to our revitalized development approach and product strategy, we are aligning ourselves to enable companies to take advantage of this defining moment, this convergence of market forces, to emerge better than they were before.”
Jim Hagemann Snabe Outlines Product Strategy to Help Businesses Run Better
Underlining companies’ opportunity to seek responsible growth, Snabe expanded on the technological implications of the market forces highlighted by his counterpart. Live from Frankfurt and broadcast in Orlando, Snabe outlined how SAP has always been at the forefront of the major IT shifts that mirror the business demands of the times – from the days of mainframe computers powering standardized processes at corporate headquarters to the era of globalization and client/server architecture across offices worldwide. Today, SAP is pursuing product strategy on three strategic pillars – on-premise, on-demand and on-device applications – to evolve IT with the key business shifts of this new inflection point.
Snabe first noted the shift in the ways businesses are connecting. “It is not just about optimizing your own processes for your own customers; it is about optimizing the entire value chain until the end consumer.” As companies build ever more connections and processes across their business networks, they can also share infrastructure in cloud computing environments. However, they still want to own the on-premise infrastructure and unique processes and capabilities that enable them to differentiate themselves from the competition. A second shift the co-CEO sees is the speed at which “people are connecting in new ways using digital environments,” where an uncontrollable information flow cannot be managed by a predictable process, and where “people decide what’s next.” And thirdly, in a world in which the amount of data doubles every 18 months, Snabe underlined that “We need to make faster decisions, and empower people throughout the organization, and not just the top — it requires complete new architectures to make it happen.”
Snabe underlined SAP’s unique commitment to ensuring consistency across all on-premise, on-demand and on-device applications, designing and orchestrating them to fit together as “networked solutions.” He reiterated the company’s commitment to extending its leadership in on-premise solutions and to continuing innovation in its flagship SAP® Business Suite and the SAP NetWeaver® technology platform, enabling customers to adopt new features at their own pace. “We will deliver ‘ Innovations 2010,’ which significantly enhances the business processes in SAP Business Suite and delivers them, without disruption, through enhancement packages.” Snabe told customers, “We think there is a game-changing moment in history where we can bring in-memory technology into analytics, and with that, get real real-time information as part of your on-premise installation.” Snabe encouraged the audience to tune in on the next day’s keynotes by SAP CTO Vishal Sikka and Supervisory Board Chairman Hasso Plattner to hear how SAP aims to eliminate the divide between transactional and analytical applications.
Snabe stated that SAP is committed to entering the on-demand market in a strong way, taking two approaches “with the clear intent to become the leader.” The first approach is line-of-business extensions for smaller-step processes such as sales force automation, expense management or talent management. He said SAP will differentiate itself with on-demand solutions that “integrate with the on-premise world in a seamless way, so that a lead doesn’t continue to be a lead; it becomes an order, a delivery, an invoice and a payment – most of which happens in the on-premise world.” The second is an “integrated on-demand suite approach, where companies have a collection of best practices to run their business end-to-end,” and do not have to install and configure hardware or software.
Snabe also illustrated SAP’s aims to become the undisputed leader in mobile business applications, reaffirming that SAP will deliver on-device applications for its established products and for new products such as the SAP® StreamWork™ application to support person-to-person collaboration, business processes and analytics across all leading mobile platforms – allowing customers to have their choice. SAP will also provide a gateway for partners and customers to create complementary applications. “My commitment to you is that we will accelerate the innovation power of SAP,” said Snabe. “We want to do this together with you, our customers, in close cooperation; we want to use this with our partners, in close cooperation. And jointly, I am confident that we can make businesses run better, people run better and the world run better.”
Co-CEOs Make Their Mark on 100th Day in Office
As their SAPPHIRE NOW keynote speeches fell on the 100 th day of their tenure as co-CEOs, Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe took a moment to note their achievements thus far in the new role. Noting the solid start with a strong first quarter performance, they revealed that a first priority was to create a strategy focused on doubling SAP’s current addressable market. McDermott, Snabe and the company’s top managers also engaged with employees in informal, coffee corner sessions to hear their questions and ideas on strategy and execution. To accelerate the pace of product innovations, the co-CEOs also redesigned the company’s development approach to be more reminiscent of SAP’s start-up days, with small, agile development teams.
Replays of the co-CEO keynote and other SAPPHIRE NOW presentations are available at www.sapphirenow.com.
With SAPPHIRE® NOW, SAP marks the next evolution of its SAPPHIRE customer conference and networking events, offering SAP customers, partners and prospects even more opportunities to engage in dialogue with peers, participants and thought leaders around the globe. Being held simultaneously in Orlando, Florida, and Frankfurt, Germany, May 17-19, 2010, this enhanced, real-time event connects attendees on site with global participants through state-of-the-art broadcast studios and a newly designed online experience that incorporates the latest social media and community functionality. Whether onsite or online, participants can gain insight on how innovative business solutions from SAP are enabling long-term, profitable business growth. For more information about the Orlando show, visit www.sapandasug.com; for the Frankfurt event, visit www.sap.com/sapphire/emea. Join the conversation via Twitter at @SAPPHIRENOW and visit the SAPPHIRE NOW Social Newsroom at sapphirenow.blogs-sap.com.
SAP and the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) are co-locating their premier events in Orlando, where the 2010 ASUG Annual Conference takes place May 16-20.
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 97,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP.” For more information, visit www.sap.com.
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, and related applications.
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