Reports coming out of Europe confirm that SAP has canceled its showcase SAPPHIRE event, scheduled for May.
According to: NetShelter, SAP is canceling SAPPHIRE in favor of a series of smaller events - World 1,000 Tour.
I asked James Governor of Redmonk for his reaction: "This sends all the wrong messages to customers. Sure, money is tight but this is the premier event for SAP."
Fellow Irregular Vinnie Mirchandani added: "Such events generate huge goodwill, by all means scale back but don't cancel."
Representatives among my contacts at SAP were not available for comment.
UPDATE: Michael Prosceno from SAP updated me on the situation over email as follows: "It is true that SAP will hold a series of customer events across Europe beginning in May rather than a single large event. These events will provide customers with what they have told us they want; a closer-to-home experience, in local language, one that is more intimate, and provides better opportunities for networking with peers, but that also continues to deliver SAP executive insight, partner participation and, where possible, user group participation so that the greater sense of "Good Will" which Vinnie was referring to continues.
We also continue to plan to hold the SAPPHIRE in Orlando, Florida, as customer feedback showed a strong preference in the Americas for this approach. We have not yet taken final decision on the city locations for EMEA but, we hope to announce the full schedule shortly. Those plans are nearly complete, but not yet ready to fully announce. Finally, with respect to James' reaction, we are not sending the wrong messages to our customers -- on the contrary, we are listening to our customers and trying to give them what they are asking for. "