I was surprised when I saw that SAP had signed up for the Open Cloud Manifesto. Despite SAP's best endeavors, thousands of customers and code jocks, ABAP is not a standard in the same way that Java has become. If you know ABAP the only place you can take it is to another SAP shop. If you know Java - well - you can pretty much go anywhere. So couching the manifesto in terms of 'open' seems a little disingenuous.
Perhaps the litmus test comes from the responses to Vishal Sikka's blog post on the SAP Community Network or the wiki on the topic. As of the time of writing and given the controversy surrounding the topic I would have expected someone, anyone, to have said something. But nothing and that despite Sikka saying:
SAP has always been committed to delivering industry-leading businesses solutions that meet enterprise customer requirements. The Open Cloud Manifesto initiates an open dialogue among cloud vendors, enterprise application companies and customers that could help achieve this for cloud computing.
I want to personally invite the SAP Community to share your thoughts about the Open Cloud Manifesto. You can do so by editing the document on the Cloud Computing Wiki, or simply by responding to this blog. I am looking forward to hearing from you !
How many times do you get the chance to communicate directly with the CTO of a mega-vendor, even if it is to tell him you think the idea is wrong headed? Yet it would seem that no-one among the SAP community of 1.4 million coders and 300,000 business process people are that interested. Perhaps the best clue comes from Gartner's David Smith:
In all cases, there are claims of customer interests and the good of the industry, etc. etc. While there is some legitimate interest in standards, make no mistake that all vendors act in their own (and shareholders’) interests (as they should) and that if those interests line up with those of users, then great. But none are just altruistic and looking out for their customers only as they claim.
Ouch! That must hurt, especially when we see the likes of Amazon not talking about the notion of supporting many platforms and 'standards' but actually doing it. In SAP's case, I rather suspect its customers have other concerns.
Nice try people but this is still born.
UPDATE: Paul Greenberg:
I’m not as ready to write the whole thing off that quickly as some others are. I like the idea of some of the tech heavy hitters starting the conversation as they notably put it - even if that conversation is a bit self-serving.
I don't buy this argument. Self-serving is something the buyer community is all too aware of and increasingly sees this kind of thing as a clever way to disguise lock-in. If they can't get Gartner on board then CXO's won't give this a second glance.