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We're all dead - get over it

I've been scratching my head the last few days wondering why Bill McDermott, SAP's CEO of global field operations would flat out contend that:SAP is positioned to gain share in the business applications market as IT departments scrutinize every dollar spent, while predicting that SaaS vendors will have a tough time living up to the high expectations that customers will place on them.
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Written by Dennis Howlett on

I've been scratching my head the last few days wondering why Bill McDermott, SAP's CEO of global field operations would flat out contend that:

SAP is positioned to gain share in the business applications market as IT departments scrutinize every dollar spent, while predicting that SaaS vendors will have a tough time living up to the high expectations that customers will place on them. SaaS implementations, he says, are "harder, more expensive, and riskier" than businesses anticipated, and he predicts a backlash as "disillusionment sets in."

Yes, we know that SAP's ByDesign strategy is in the toilet, allegedly due for a relaunch in May but having blown a fortune on it - Brian Sommer and I speculate anywhere up to $1 billion, and today's SAP research note from Merrill Lynch is talking $100 million this year alone - something has to come out the other side. But it's probably more the fact Merrill's estimate that 80% of SAP's business is coming from existing customers. SAP sales people are not going to kill the golden goose by declaring saas religion.

Not that need stop Phil Wainewright roaring in with:

 ...the anti-SaaS chorus is hitting ever more frenetic notes. For example, the ComputerWorld blogger who last week argued that SaaS hurts a fragile economy by eliminating IT staff from unproductive positions that are a drag on their employer’s operational efficiency. Or the astonishing calculation that if you power on your desktop computer and then power it off again each time you do a Google search, you’ll soon burn more carbon than if you boil a kettle.

When the attacks become this desperate, you know you’re onto a winner.

But then a couple of other posts caught my attention. Analyst Robin Bloor uses a Greek play metaphor to get across his message about SOA's reported death:

Unfortunately, SOA has been too arrogant and has slighted Pallas Athena by inferring that her client/server strategy was crap. So Pallas Athena teams up with another client server buff called Poseidon, who sends a mighty tidal wave  called Recession to engulf  SOA and destroy him completely. I’m sure you’re getting the picture. Naturally, when you get to this point in the play, the Greek Chorus is chanting “SOA is Dead, SOA is dead” in the fashion of soccer fans who’ve imbibed a little too much fermented hop juice.

But - and this is definitely a departure from the usual format of Greek drama - Zeus intervenes, pulling SOA by the scruff of his neck up to the summit of Mount Olympus, and the tidal wave simply drowns the whole Greek Chorus.

I personally thought that after 10 years of trying to make SOA a sensible topic of IT conversation, most had pretty much given up. When SAP asked me how I felt about eSOA last year, I retorted something along the lines that I'd tather have an anal probe by Rosa Klebb. Our own Dana Gardner provides a more sober perspective while still banging the SOA drum:

While the software market gnashes its teeth over how alive service oriented architecture (SOA) is, the much more important opportunity — and perhaps unique in the history of IT — is being overlooked.

...but then goes and spoils it all by adding:

There’s never better a better time to kill off your legacy IT systems.

I'm sure James Governor will be mighty pleased to hear that:

The latest technology to bite the dust is SOA. Totally dead. IBM, Oracle and SAP haven’t committed anything to SOA. Neither have their customers. Lets chuck that crap out. Right… Lowering ERP integration costs by an order of magnitude- why would we want something like that???

The Web is SOA. Put things in, Get Things Out, Post them or maybe even Delete them.

So the dead stuff runs the Enterprise, and there is no money there of course… Because the enterprise is dead. 99% of enterprise transactions run across dead platforms. 90% of Offices still run on dead software. Its all dead.

Dead dead dead. BRAINS….

Before I forget, enterprise RSS is dead as well. That has the unique distinction of being still born.

Pic courtesy of CryptHorror but unashamedly inspired by it use on James Governor's post.

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