SAP Changes Continue – 10 Predictions for 2010

After the recent board changes the strategy will change too

After the recent board changes at SAP the message we could read in most news was like ‘new board – old strategy’. Along with the board changes SAP did not announce (yet) any significant strategic changes. But what good is it to change the board and leave everything else as is?

The recent SAP board changes are just the visible tip of the iceberg of much deeper changes SAP will and has to go through to renew itself as a leading IT vendor. Below are 10 predictions for changes in SAP’s strategic direction I expect within the next 10+ months:

1.    More SAP Board Changes Will Come

Additional board changes will further strengthen the product & technology focus and competence within the SAP board. See also Forrester’s blog on the recent SAP board changes: SAP CEO Resigns – Long Live The Co-CEOs

2.    Business ByDesign Will Get Back Into SAP’s Strategic Center

Business ByDesign will become again the corner stone of SAP’s growth strategy and the successful introduction will mark a ‘make it or break it’ milestone for SAP.

3.    SAP Announces The Next-Generation ERP

SAP will announce a next-generation ERP solution to regain leadership in its core business area and it will likely be based on the ByDesign platform.

4.    SAP Changes Its Cloud Strategy

SAP will rework its whole On-Demand strategy and will unify and align all components based on the ByDesign platform. See also Forrester’s recent blog on SAP’s On-Demand strategy: SAP Is Skydiving Into The Clouds.

5.    SAP Refocuses On Industries

SAP will focus again on its core strength of industry expertise. Previous lip services will turn into significant investments and a new vertical strategy.

6.    Déjà Vu With Old Faces At SAP

Like Michael Kleinemeier, the old and new head of SAP Germany-Austria-Switzerland, we will see some more faces re-appear on the scene as part of SAP’s overall back-to-the-roots strategic U-turn.

7.    SAP Will Do A Major Acquisition

Within the next 10+ months SAP will do the Jack-out-of-the-box trick and make a major acquisition – outside of the usual application software world! See also Forrester’s blog: What recent acquisitions mean to SAP?

8.    In-Memory Becomes The New SAP Mantra

It’s not just to slap Oracle, although that’s a welcomed effect too, but in-memory solutions will become the big innovation driver for many of SAP’s future solutions.

9.    SAP Simplifies Its Messaging And Positioning

SAP’s complicated and sometimes confusing messaging will undergo radical simplification. In this process the new company tag line will e.g. change to ‘The Best Run SAP’.

10. SAP’s Next Transformation: Business Process Intelligence

The company has a long history of transformations from a software company to a platform & technology company or most recently into a sales driven company. Not all of these transformations were completed with success. In its next transformation SAP will strongly leverage the (still relatively new) competence and assets for Business Intelligence and combine it with the core strength of Business Process expertise - horizontally and for industries. The convergence of business intelligence and analytical insights into SAP’s core portfolio of business application software will become a big change that transforms the whole company.

Please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Kind regards,

Holger Kisker