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On Thursday, December 12th, Sven Denecken, the VP of strategy for SAP Cloud, sat down to have a roundtable discussion with the high potentials in AGS about SAP’s current Cloud strategy. This discussion was part of a larger series of executive briefing sessions taking place in the AGS High Potential program.

According to Denecken, having an effective Cloud Strategy is about “having the right mix”; a combination of Cloud, managed (virtualized, outsourced, hosted, private cloud), and on premise technology, tailored to client specific needs. “Having the right mix” not only requires a thorough understanding of the customer’s current landscape, but also what the future trajectory of their company will look like.

SAP has transformed itself into the leading Cloud company with 33 million end users; more than any other vendor in the world. Having such a large user base is integral in helping to improve solutions as it gives SAP unique insights in how solutions are used and how to improve them

With SAP’s sound Cloud strategy, it isn’t difficult to believe why they are number one in both number of end users and revenue, which is over $1 billion, and growing in the triple digits every quarter. While most companies compromise on the scale of their solutions by either offering a broad portfolio or a best-of-breed that delves deeply into one area, SAP uses a combination of the two by having best-of-breed solutions for key functional areas. Another key aspect of SAP’s Cloud strategy related to achieving simplicity is driving towards a unified Cloud platform. This will be achieved by pushing the entire SAP Cloud portfolio to the HANA Cloud Platform. Integration between Cloud, and on-premise will play a crucial role but SAP is ready for it and building an end-to-end cloud portfolio, running on HANA Cloud platform, delivered in a unified approach.

Sven emphasized the need for simplicity in our Cloud strategy. Part of that simplicity involves investing more in prepackaging. Sven notes that while 100% prepackaged solutions are not possible, with the Cloud we can create solutions that are 90% out of the box.

Moving to the Cloud is an evolution, an evolution guided by customers based on their business requirements. SAP’s Cloud strategy takes into account customer point of view and is about delivering value to business. With regards to the adoption of Cloud technology, Sven said, “at the end, especially cloud applications will be judged and consumed because of their business value.”