SAP: In-memory to hit all applications; Collaboration, mobility in focus

SAP co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe hit the company's big themes for the year ahead: In-memory analysis, mobility and "people centric apps." Business ByDesign has 500 companies running on it.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

SAP co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe on Tuesday hit the company's big themes for the year ahead: In-memory analysis, mobility and "people centric apps." The pitch: Companies need to be "real real-time," protect brand equity and reach consumers everywhere via mobility and analytics. SAP's targets are obvious: Oracle and Salesforce.com.

Gallery: SAP, Sybase go wild with mobile apps

This "sense and respond" theme carried throughout the keynotes at SAP's Sapphire conference in Orlando. For the second year in a row, SAP positioned itself as an innovator with six month cycles instead of a rollup of maintenance revenue streams. That's a not-so-subtle dig at Oracle. Snabe said SAP is moving to take a view on the future of enterprise IT and what it will be in 2015.

SAP's Snabe (top right) outlined the next priorities for the company going forward. They include:

In-memory computing with the HANA appliance. "When we introduced in-memory computing our competitors insisted we were on drugs," said Snabe. Now they are looking for answers. Faster processing can provide real-time analytics on cheaper hardware. "At first installations at customers we are 20 percent faster on comparable hardware," said Snabe, who emphasized that real-time analytics, risk management and predictions will change business fundamentals.

Meanwhile, in-memory technology will run through SAP's business products including Busin

ess One. SAP plans to use in-memory in all of its applications.

Mobility via Sybase. "So far mobility is a consumer play. We believe it's time to connect mobility to business processes and information," said Snabe. SAP launched the latest Sybase Unwired platform. Unwired 2.0 will aim to connect the supply chain and consumer. SAP also unveiled and software developer kit to extend enterprise applications to any device.

Collaboration. Snabe pushed "people centric applications." SAP launched a "whole new category" of applications designed around people and unstructured data and processes to remain in compliance with regulations. This category "fundamentally needs to be mobile and analytical," said Snabe. SAP launched Sales On Demand, which operates the way "salespeople work." Sales On Demand, aimed at Salesforce.com, is the first installment of what will be a bevy of applications.

SAP's plan is to add in analytics as a differentiator to Salesforce.com.

Here's a quick look at Sales On Demand from the demo.

These applications will be delivered through an SAP store for rapid deployments, said Snabe. "We have a commitment to make it easier to work with SAP," he said.

In a nutshell, Hagermann brought the steak and McDermott was the salesman. Hagermann said that SAP has closed 40,000 deals since May 2010 and emphasized that the company was committed to innovation. Among the notable points:

  • 500 companies are running on SAP Business ByDesign. "500 compared to 40,000 might seem small but it's growing faster than R/3 (did)," he said.
  • 90 percent of the world's devices connect to mobile devices.
  • Customers such as FreshDirect were highlighted.
  • Demos for Sales On Demand were shown on Research in Motion's PlayBook.

McDermott had the Max Weinberg 7---of Bruce Springsteen fame---backing him in a beginning that was shtick to say the least.

The overall message from McDermott was protecting brand equity by connecting with customers "in the moment" by analyzing needs in real-time and providing choice, value and products at the right time. McDermott said companies need to be "real real time," naturally with in-memory computing.

Among the main theme from McDermott:

  • "Mobile is the new desktop," said McDermott. "Mobile is an unstoppable force that enables you to stay close to your customers like never before."
  • End-to-end data and management will be necessary. The idea is to give customers and the board room access to the supply chain.
  • Avon can show customers all the products and availability on a mobile device. "It's beautiful man," said McDermott. There was also a demo of an Avon iPad app checking inventory.

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