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- written by Uwe Bohnhorst, Chief Operating Officer, itelligence AG -

The core business of the company SAP AG and its partners is still generated in the fields of SAP ERP and SAP Business Suite. However, the SAPPHIRE NOW clearly shows that the market is changing. The topics of the future are Cloud, Mobile and of course SAP HANA.

After all, during the first quarter of this year, 55 per cent of the new customers in the channel have already decided in favor of the SAP Business Suite on HANA (or at least the option), SAP is  positioning itself accordingly during its customer and partner conference in Orlando. For the existing partner ecosystem this development represents a clear challenge, it is important to build up expertise and know-how and not just to sell the new solution but also to understand it to be able to implement it for the customers. During the Partner Summit on the vigil of the SAPPHIRE NOW, Eric Duffaut, President Global Ecosystem & Channels of SAP AG, clearly addressed the partners: “You are our number one partners now, but you will have to defend your position. The ecosystem is changing, It is also up to you to adapt to this change and join us on our journey“. Duffaut‘s no questions asked demand: “Invest, build up the appropriate know-how – we need you“.

The keynotes at the beginning of the world’s largest SAP event have been presented by SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott and Ariba-CEO Rob Calderoni. SAP acquired the cloud specialist and its  commercial network last year, currently helping more than 100,000 customers, for approximately 4.3 billion US dollars. At present, the focus is on connectivity of the network with SAP backend systems, of course, so it is dealing with business process optimization. Ariba is currently processing a volume of 460 billion dollars via its platform, but 80% of all transactions are not yet integrated and are still running offline. There is a great deal of potential for SAP for the future. SAPs 25th industrial solution was also presented during McDermott's keynote. In addition to automotive, retail, consumer products, banking, insurance and many others, Sports & Entertainment trade will also benefit from the software from Walldorf in the future. In a very American style, Bill had taken amongst others the CBS anchorman James Brown on his side. On Sundays, when the American football day of play is summarized on TV, Brown can be seen on the screens in American living-rooms, today he appeared crystal clear on the huge projection screen of the SAPPHIRE NOW. In my opinion, the joint presentation was a good thing, very emotional and for this reason very appropriate. With this new strategy in the field of HANA and Mobile, SAP is increasingly addressing customers for which the end customer, and so a variety of important data and information, are in the focus of the business activities. And consumers always involve emotions as well. Further keywords of the keynote have been B2C and Social Networks.

The common link between all these topics is Big Data. Whenever consumers come into play, masses of potentially interesting data are involved all over the world. It is sometimes difficult, however, to bring these data to life, either due to lacking performance or because the mass of data is incapable of being converted into information for the company in a reasonable way. SAP HANA Analytics will change this.

Some weeks ago we already received the invitation from SAP to be the first partner to inspect the new area of Sports & Entertainment and its related solutions. Conversations about the manner and extent of a joint commitment in this trade are in process, will also be continued in Orlando and are very promising not just for itelligence. The same applies to SAPPHIRE NOW.

By the way, 8,000 of the approximate 20,000 SAPPHIRE NOW visitors are partners, the organizers have calculated almost one and a half liters of coffee per person. After this cup, my next meeting is waiting for me, tomorrow you will find further news here of Orlando, amongst others, regarding the  SAP trend topic Mobile.