SAP Is Skydiving Into The Clouds

Holger Kisker

A brief reflection from the SAP Influencer Summit on SAP’s On-Demand strategy

 

At the SAP Influencer Summit in Boston Dec 8/9, SAP put a lot of emphasis on its new roadmap into cloud computing and how serious the company is taking the topic for its future success. Well, to be true SAP actually avoided the term ‘cloud’ almost entirely and talked about ‘on-demand’ solutions instead. Maybe the company stayed away from the term ‘cloud’ because there is still a lot of confusion in the market (or inside SAP?) what cloud computing actually is, or to simply differentiate from the masses that currently go ‘crazy in the cloud’. Anyways, to offer pay-by-use software applications via self-service over the web indeed is pure cloud computing and SAP has declared it to be a future focus area for the company when Jim Snabe said “… significant [SAP] investment into on-demand will disrupt the market and SAP will regain leadership in this space”.

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Smart Computing Will Create Growth Opportunities -- and Challenges -- for IT Vendors

Andrew Bartels

Since 2004, I have been arguing in my research that the tech market would enter a new cycle of innovation and growth starting in 2008. This thesis was based on my review of the US tech market since the 1950s, which showed a pattern of eight-to-ten year cycles of strong growth in tech purchases, followed by eight years of modest growth. This pattern had repeated three times, first with the introduction of mainframe computers in the late 1950s and 1960s, then with the arrival of personal computers in the 1970s and 1980s, and then with ERP software, client-server systems, and the Internet in the period from 1992 to 2000. Based on this pattern, I predicted that the tech market (at least in the US) would grow at about the same rate as the overall economy from 2004 to 2007 as business "digested" that third wave of technology, then decline in 2007 or 2008 due to a recession in that period ("IT Spending Outlook: 2004 To 2008 And Beyond -- Waiting For The Next Big Thing": http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,35063,00.html; "Expect A Tech Slowdown Before The Next Boom -- Forrester's Long-Term IT Spending Forecast For The US, 2005-2010": http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,37816,00.html). While not all aspects of these predictions have come true, overall I believe they were a generally accurate forecast of what happened in the tech market from 2004 to 2008.

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Staples - Moving into Managed Print Services

Craig Le Clair

 

Craig LeClair Photo 9 22By Craig Le Clair

Staples Technology Solutions - a separately managed part of the growing company - will outsource your desktops or address print management needs. So this means IT outsourcing as well providing Managed Print Services for printers, imaging equipment, copiers, and fax machines. They are strong in volume pricing and support coverage and will do well in the mid part of these markets. I would have liked to have seen more connection to their print and copy retail service centers. For example allowing jobs to be routed from a business to a retail center for special preparation - the type of things corporate print centers use to do.

Harness The Power Of Workforce Personas

Ted Schadler

Ted-Schadler  by Ted Schadler

Do you truly understand your workforce and what they need from technology? Hint, it's a loaded question. You might think so, but you'd probably be wrong. They're not like you. Not at all.

We weren't sure, either, which is why we surveyed 2,001 US information workers -- people that use computers in their jobs to find out what technology they use and what they need to be successful in their jobs.

We discovered something that consumer market researchers have known for generations: Not everybody needs or wants the same stuff. So we drew on our decade of experience with quantitative analysis and created a segmentation that highlights the differences between employees based on their need for location flexibility (mobility) and their application use:

  • Location flexibility, a.k.a., mobility -- drives differences in the need for smartphones, wireless networks, collaboration tools, and telecommuting support.
  • Application use drives differences in social computing, consumerization of IT, and tolerance for virtual desktops.
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SAP's Enterprise Boldly Goes Where No Support Offering Has Gone Before

Duncan Jones

At yesterday's Influencer Summit, Dr. Uwe Hummel (EVP and Head of Active Global Support) explained to industry analysts why SAP believes so strongly in its Enterprise Support product. In fact, it is so convinced in proactive support and the positive impact on customers' SAP application management and operation costs that it decided to protect them from making the mistake of declining to buy it - by making it mandatory.

We all know how customers reacted to that idea, and how SAP has reconsidered its approach since the initial announcements. Yesterday's session focused on SAP's uniquely innovative program to track the actual benefits obtained by customers using Enterprise Support. SUGEN, the association of independent SAP user groups, agreed 11 application-management-related KPI that it would track at 56 member sites. The first results are now in, and though SAP isn't quite ready to publish them, from what we saw under NDA, there has been a clear and consistent improvement in measures such as 'failed system changes'.

However, even if these results enable SAP to make a convincing argument that enterprise support is beneficial for most customers, it hasn't yet answered the important questions that we've raised on behalf of sourcing and vendor managers:

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The Archetypes of EA

Alex Cullen

This past summer, Forrester conducted a series of in-depth interviews of architects to further our understanding of their roles:  how they saw the role in the context of their organizations, how they are evaluated by senior management, their key success imperatives and their information needs.  We undertook this not just as research to publish, but also to inform how we support individuals in the EA role.

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Q&A: Three Tech Movements CIOs Should Know

Sharyn Leaver

On Tuesday of this week I hosted a webinar along with Ted Schadler and John Rymer — "Harnessing Key IT Trends — Three Tech Movements CIOs Should Know." As promised, below are the answers to attendee questions that we weren’t able to cover during the webinar.

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Categories:

Disease, drug wars and data centers

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Just thinking about Mexico and the cards it was dealt getting blamed for swine flu. I was recently in Europe, and was surprised to hear friends refer to H1N1 as the “grippe mexicaine” or “Mexican flu”. There is even a dedicated website by the same name — grippemexicainehttp://www.lagrippemexicaine.com/. You don’t hear that in the US. We may demonize the swines but not our neighbors, the Mexicans. But, even the Mexican press attributes the outbreak to local pigs, hence the theory this particular flu had its origins in Mexico.  That theory or the flu itself is blamed in part for the severity of their economic downturn – along with the global financial crisis (and in particular its dependence on the US) and domestic drug wars.

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Looking To Save And To Protect Your Enterprise’s Future Interests In Your Negotiations With SAP?

Liz Herbert

SAP’s dominant negotiating position is often a challenge for sourcing and vendor management professionals looking to cut costs and avoid pitfalls in contracting.  A tough year for SAP with a 40% drop in license revenue in the first half of 2009 compared to last year presents new challenges in negotiating.  Has this drop made SAP more flexible in sales negotiations, or more determined to fight for every dollar it can get, hold firmly to standard discount levels and force through its maintenance price hike?

Forrester Research, led by Principal Analyst, Duncan Jones, Senior Analyst, Liz Herbert, and Research Associate, Elizabeth Rose, is preparing to tackle these problems and publish a report on pricing trends and best practices for negotiating with SAP and we need you. 

Our report will answer the following key questions:

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Hacking the Human Network

John Kindervag

A couple of network televisions shows have lately caught my eye.  Now I’m not a television critic but there were things in these shows that have security implications that warrant some attention.  These episodes came just as I had finished some hacking training and provide an opportunity to share some interesting new tools and attack scenarios.  

First, Alex Baldwin pimped Cisco’s TelePresence system on 30 Rock.  In the episode “The Audition,” Baldwin’s character Jack has bedbugs and is forced to use TelePresence to attend a meeting.  There is a very funny bit that takes product placement to a new tongue-in-cheek level:

TelePresence Screen: “Do you like the Cisco equipment?”

Jack:  “Of course, it continues to be the gold-standard by which all business technology is judged.  Cisco, The Human Network.”

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