Tag Archives: SAP

The Business Problem with Big Data Analytics

What is Happening?          

Recent software analyst and IT media reports, including insights from a recent SAP Americas User Group (ASUG) survey, suggest that SAP’s HANA Big Data service / platform is not yet seen by a majority of ASUG members as benefiting their business (relative to the implementation cost of implementing), or driving enough revenue growth for SAP. SAP has, very smartly, issued a careful rebuttal explaining how, where, and why customers see value in HANA – and more importantly, offering to work with any customer to help them understand and realize business benefits from the offering and its associated apps.

We believe that, through at least 2016, this type of approach is the most effective way of getting user enterprises to understand the value of any Big Data analytics capability; i.e., develop company-specific and operationally-specific business cases in order to enable and develop business value. This is because, in most companies, Big Data analytics just can’t be widely used to deliver broad-based business benefits across the full portfolio – because user enterprises have huge challenges finding and managing their own data, let alone analyzing it. Continue reading

2014 Cloud Business Summit – The Journey to Digital Business

I am pleased to announce some of the details surrounding our fourth annual Cloud Business Summit, which will be held November 12, 2014 at The Yale Club in New York City.

Our conference theme this year is “Innovation, Opportunity, Risk and Reward,” with the event focusing on the journey that large enterprise CIOs, CTOs, and senior marketing and finance executives are on as they optimize their Cloud investments, and begin to remake their companies as Digital Businesses. For a short overview of the event, go to: http://cloudbusinesssummit.com/about-the-event.html.

We’ve moved the Summit to a new venue this year. The Yale Club of New York has a spectacular Grand Ballroom that we will be using, along with its elegant Rooftop Dining Room. Both will provide an optimal setting for the peer-level learning and interaction that are hallmarks of our events, fostering an intimate, C-level setting.

Our program / agenda is coming together nicely, with our keynotes and panels offering unique first-person experiences, insights, and best practices Continue reading

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 – 3 Takeaways

What is Happening?

Earlier this week, Saugatuck attended the SAP Sapphire NOW conference in Orlando, Florida. We value coming to the conference each year as it, like several others that we attend, provides great signposts as to the current state of business computing. This year more than 20,000 attended the event live, with thousands more accessing the keynotes remotely. In this Research Alert, we emphasize three key takeaway threads from the event: “Simplicity”, “HANA Front and Center”, and “Ariba: Key to SAP’s Future.”

Why is it Happening?

With many of the key technological foundations having already been laid, SAP is at an important juncture to begin to significantly monetize on the vision it has built over the past few years. We see the company pursuing that in the following ways: Continue reading

Look for Suites to Continue to Dominate Cloud Business Software Through 2017

Ahead of SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE event, we took a look at our research regarding buyer preferences for Cloud-based business software over the past few years. We’ve looked at this several times previously, including in our past Cloud Business Summit events, and after our 2013 global Cloud survey (1243RA, Survey Says: Single-vendor Suites Winning over Best-of-Breed and Multi-vendor (Loosely-Coupled) Cloud Solutions, 24July2013).

Given buyer and user statements and positions over the past few years about embracing “digital business,” enabling greater business flexibility and adaptability, and enabling greater business innovation, one would expect that their preferences to shift more and more toward loosely-coupled solutions that utilize Cloud platform-based middleware and other forms of integration – especially, and increasingly, APIs – to provide “good enough” interoperability that enables greater flexibility in solution and provider choice.

As this buyer/user movement grows, as the paces of business and Cloud change increase, and as more and more business software providers embrace API-driven interoperability and other forms of technological and functional integration capabilities, one would expect to see significant moves toward more diversity in the types of Cloud-based business software desired and acquired. Continue reading

SAPs Acquisition of Ariba Visibly on Track

Last night and today, Saugatuck has participated in a series of analyst briefings and one-on-one sessions (with customers and Ariba execs), as well as attending the keynote presentations at Ariba LIVE 2014. What is clear from all of the experiences is that the acquisition of Ariba by SAP appears to be paying huge dividends across many dimensions of the business.

While the 80% + bookings growth that Ariba achieved last year is a tangible signpost demonstrating solid demand for its Cloud-based procurement / sourcing / collaborative commerce solutions (and the amazing power of cross selling across the SAP client base) – in many ways, Saugatuck sees the bigger impact of this acquisition yet to come. SAP clearly views Ariba strategically, and is investing with a longer-term view – especially in regards to power of “the network.”

The range of investments is truly impressive, including functional and UX enhancements, new mobile capabilities, integration with key SAP ERP solutions, globalization and localization capabilities, and the re-platforming / leveraging of HANA across the fully array of Ariba solution Continue reading

From the Show Floor – SAP TechEd 2013

I’m lucky enough to be at my third consecutive SAP TechEd event this week, living and working among ERP providers, developers and associated geeks to gather insight and intelligence that allows me to develop reasonable vision into the hot topics and expected next steps in the SAP and ERP universe – especially as they relate to Cloud-based IT and its associated technologies: Social IT, Mobility, and Data analytics.

While the event is held in Las Vegas, what happens at TechEd never stays at TechEd. That’s because what we see here in terms of technology, interest, and activity, tends to be the leading edge of emergent enterprise business management technologies, solutions and services. Because of its SAP ERP roots, TechEd is one of several early warning systems for developments in mainstream, large enterprise IT. Continue reading

Research Alert: Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics – Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

What is Happening? 

There is little doubt that the technologies and capabilities of Cloud, Mobility, Social IT and Advanced Analytics (CMSA) promise great value to user enterprises. Few enterprises of any type or size are not actively pursuing each.

And according to the latest research from Saugatuck, enterprise executives expect significant competitive value from each as well. In our Q1 global Cloud IT survey this year, we asked participants to “please indicate how important each of the following technologies are to your company’s competitiveness over the next 24 months.” Figure 1 aggregates the percentages of survey responses ranking each as “Very Important” or “Extremely Important” – rankings that have, over the years, been reliable indicators of imminent investment.

Figure 1: Ranking CMSA Competitive Value

Cloud Mobile Social and Analytics for Business Value

Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc., 1Q2013 global web survey; n = 218

CMSA is truly a simultaneously evolving set of services and capabilities, helping to change enterprise IT from a monolithic entity into sets of loosely-coupled, complementary services.

But as much value as each of these provides (or is expected to provide), even greater value is seen from combining them with each other, and with business management applications software and processes in key enterprise systems. Figure 2 summarizes our survey data regarding how business and IT leaders see combinations of Mobile, Social and Advanced Analytics with enterprise business systems as adding the greatest business value to the enterprise. The higher the percentage, the more survey participants see business value.

Figure 2: The Integrated Value of CMSA with Enterprise Business Systems

The Value of Mobile, Social, and Analytics on Business Apps

Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc., 1Q2013 global web survey; n = 218

Clearly, Cloud-based Mobile, Social, and Advanced Analytics are seen as relatively less beneficial to business when used individually (in most cases) than when used in combination with each other, and as part of enterprise business systems. In short, while Mobility, Social IT and Advanced Analytics each have intrinsic value, that value is typically multiplied with coordinated use.

Why is it Happening? 

With past IT architectures, single or serial evolutionary trends tended to define the evolution, and IT became more and more focused on (obsessed with?) tightly-integrated technologies and systems. This grew through the almost manic progression of 1990s-era distributed and client-server architectures, which brought increased scrutiny on IT costs, resulting in edicts to standardize and integrate, which in turn led to a renewed emphasis on tightly-coupled architectures and technologies.

What makes the combination of CMSA different is that buyers, users, and increasingly some IT leaders are starting to see the potential value and utility of systems, technologies, and business operations that are only loosely-coupled and not tightly integrated. Integration is readily available and reasonably affordable in the form of Cloud-delivered services that alleviate many requirements for tightly-coupled technologies and systems. Cloud Integration services also expand the choice for building out certain capabilities beyond the traditional vendors of complicated, pre-built solutions and heavy customization, toward building a functional alternative from a variety of better suited products from different vendors without the tight coupling at their core.

The high value of Analytics, both alone and when combined with other capabilities and systems, is easy to understand, as the ability to better analyze and then utilize business data has long been a goal of IT and business leaders. In short Analytics almost intrinsically adds value everywhere. Mobility enables greater reach and utility of most business systems; and Social IT enables improved collaboration, which in turn adds value by improving group and resource communication and coordination. And with Cloud, they can often be added, used, and removed as needed –an additional value from the inherent flexibility of loosely-coupled, Cloud-based services.

Finally, more CMSA offerings are being architected with multiple, often open, standards-based interfaces that enable them to work with a wider array of business systems and data. They are enabling Mobile, Social and Analytics capabilities that recently cost significant amounts of additional money when included with traditional software (and didn’t always work as well as needed or expected). Buyers have wanted some combinations of these capabilities for years; making them available cheaply via Cloud has accelerated and expanded their adoption and use.

Market Impact 

By YE 2017, the inclusion of Cloud-based Mobile, Social and Analytics capabilities will be considered de rigueur and required by the majority of IT buyers and users. SaaS and BPaaS provider understand this, and are scrambling to engineer, integrate or embed an increasing range of such capabilities with their offerings.

Most will utilize capabilities from such providers as Dell Boomi, IBM CastIron, Informatica, MuleSoft, Pentaho, etc. These and other Cloud-based integration-as-a-service platform providers (“iPaaS”) are already, rapidly, pursuing BPaaS, SaaS, and other PaaS providers to embed a wide range of integration capabilities into business process services and solutions. So we believe that the loosely-coupled advantages of CMSA will only continue to grow. There will be no shortage of established and upstart providers serving enterprises and Cloud-based business solution providers alike.

Large-scale business management solution providers (e.g., Microsoft, Oracle, SAP) will be pressured to add more data and workflow integration capabilities and APIs to their core Cloud platforms; their traditional preferences for in-house “standards” will decrease as more buyers and users come to accept, then expect, the loosely-coupled IT and business reality of the Boundary-free Enterprise™.

This loosely-coupled future also helps to bring clarity and certainty to the roles of traditional SIs and enterprise IT departments. The proliferation of services and providers will mean increased roles, and increased need for skills, as enterprise users force the growth of a variety of hybridized IT and business environments, utilizing a changing array of Cloud-based offerings that need to work with other Cloud-based and on-premises systems. There will be new, different, and more skills required, and roles will continue to adapt, but there will be no shortage of need for skilled and experienced IT professionals in a world replete with ever-changing, dynamically-utilized IT.

More detailed analysis of this and much more data from Saugatuck’s 2013 Cloud IT survey will be published for Saugatuck CRS clients beginning the last week of June, including a series of research analyses and data reports.

SAPPHIRE 2013: SAP is HANA, HANA is SAP, and the Enterprise Software Future is Not the Past

What is Happening? 

If it’s May, Saugatuck must be participating in SAP’s annual Sapphire user and partner event. And if we’re talking about SAP, we must be talking about what they said they would do, and what they have actually done.

Here’s what we said last May about SAP, Cloud, and the company’s business model:

In a few years, we could be looking back on Sapphire 2012 as a watershed moment, as the dominion of legacy business management software moves to the Cloud. If SAP is serious about Cloud, and we believe it truly is, then they can/should/will legitimize Cloud for business management software. I joked with several analysts, media members and SAP executives at the event that “OK, we can stop calling it ‘Cloud’ and start calling it ‘business IT’.” Continue reading

SAP Adds Ariba to Its Cloud-driven Master Architecture

What is Happening?

Less than a week after laying out and demonstrating commitment to its comprehensive, Cloud-centric business and technology strategy at its Sapphire user event, SAP AG announced that it has agreed to buy collaborative commerce platform provider Ariba Inc. for $4.3 billion – about $45 per share of Ariba’s outstanding stock.

According to the company, Ariba’s global trading platform connects and automates more than $319 billion in commercial transactions between some 730,000 companies. Ariba reported $444 million revenue for fiscal 2011, a 39 percent increase over fiscal 2010. Estimates from leading Wall Street analysts such as Jason Maynard of Wells Fargo Securities pegged fiscal 2012 and 2013 revenues at $532 million and $608 million respectively, prior to the announcement. This implies that SAP is paying approximately 8x estimated forward fiscal 2012 revenue for Ariba. In comparison, SAP paid approximately 7.5x estimated forward fiscal 2012 revenue for SuccessFactors. Continue reading

Trip Reports: SAP, IBM, and ServiceNow Events Show Shifting Criticality of Cloud from Why

What is Happening?

This week, Saugatuck research executives found themselves participating in three, simultaneous industry events shaping the world of Cloud IT and business. CEO Bill McNee and SVP Bruce Guptill sat down with key executives (including C-level meetings) at SAP Sapphire in Orlando; VP Mike West met with company leaders and users at ServiceNow’s Knowledge12 conference in New Orleans; and VP Charlie Burns took part in IBM’s invitation-only Cloud Innovation Forum in Chicago. It’s been a Cloudy week for Saugatuck, in other words.

The net takeaway from all three events, including dozens of discussions with provider and customer leaders, is thatthe religious wars and mystery about what Cloud is all about is clearly gone. The critical questions for providers and user enterprises have shifted from “What is it” and “Why should we?” to “When should we?” to “How do we?” Continue reading