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At SAPPHIRENOW 2012, we publicly talked about our cloud strategy in Orlando – with many customers, media, influencers. Thanks you all for the awesome feedback. Now, it’s time to bring some key elements to those who could not attend SAPPHIRENOW physically or virtually.

At SAP, we see the Cloud as a way to deliver new possibilities to our customers that will help them run better & faster.  These new possibilities include:

  • New economics that make it possible to do more with IT
  • Closer alignment between IT and business needs
  • Greater business agility
  • More fluid team collaboration
  • Increased context aware decision making
  • Accelerated development and deployment of custom apps
  • Better access to innovations from an ecosystem of independent software developers

Although the market sees social, mobile and big data as separate trends,we see all of them as essential elements of our Cloud solutions.  Our Cloud solutions are designed to work the way people do. Let’s have a closer look.

SAP Cloud Strategy

We offer unique value to our customers and their people because we are the only company that can combine the pace of SuccessFactors innovation with the enterprise expertise and technology of SAP. Specifically, we will accelerate our delivery cycles and intensify co-innovation with customers.SuccessFactors, for example, has delivered on average five versions of their solution per year.  In other words,  solutions have been updated faster than once every two months. This pace allowed to build solutions that tightly aligned with customer needs.  It is this pace of innovation that we are transferring to all SAP Cloud. Our cloud solutions will change to an orchestrated quarterly release cycle. And imagine how fast we can co-innovate with customers now.The combination of SuccessFactors and SAP now means we have almost 5,000 employees focused exclusively on bringing the broadest, deepest cloud portfolio to you. So what will the focus be?

The focus will be on solutions that help customers manage their most important assets: people, money, customers and suppliers.We will design, and deliver, solutions as a loosely coupled Suite. With this approach, customers can adopt at their own pace and in their own way. When combined, however, these solutions offer the value proposition of a suite.We will offer standard integration with SAP Business Suite (on-premise) to support customers’ hybrid landscapes.  After all, the world will remain hybrid for a long while – but not in all areas. We will offer a unified and open platform for our customers and partners to create and run new apps in the cloud and/or extend SAP cloud solutions.

To take social to the next level, we are working on an open platform for social.  The objective is to eliminate social silos inside and outside the company.  This will  create an aggregated, open and seamless experience across SAP and ecosystem applications via the web or mobile.  We are putting the “Business” back in Social Business.And, to be clear, we will continue to offer fully integrated suites for mid-market customers, subsidiaries of large enterprise (ByD) and small customers (B1 OnDemand).

SAP Cloud Solutions

We are enabling our customers and their people to choose from a leading portfolio of cloud-based solutions designed to work the way people do: collaborative, mobile and insightful.  Furthermore, the portfolio will be built with one consistent architecture.  It will be social, scalable and leverage the full power of SAP HANATo deliver on the value of Cloud for our customers and their people, we will focus our effort on four areas where we see customer demand has shifted to the Cloud.  The solutions for these Lines of Business are designed to manage:

  • People – Here we are leveraging SuccessFactors’ leadership in delivering world class HCM solutions
  • Customers – Here we have launched the SAP Sales OnDemand solution as a new way to close deals and are expanding to a full CRM OnDeamand offering
  • Money – Here we bring SAP best practices to financial management in the Cloud.
  • Suppliers – Here we combine the capabilities of SAP Sourcing OnDemand, SAP Contract Management OnDemand, and Crossgate to provide customers with a new way to drive cost savings through sophisticated sourcing, comprehensive contract management and superior supplier management

SAP Cloud Platform

We give the ability to extend applications in an open manner. These services can be developed either by the customers themselves, or by partners.  Furthermore, we will enable customers to leverage their on-premise investments with out of the box integrations.

Our goal is to help customers manage end-to-end processes.  Consequently, we believe in a hybrid approach where on-premise investments link to cloud solutions seamlessly.

We are giving partners a choice to work with 3rd party PaaS providers. For this, partnerships with leading vendors have been established. We offer a true Open +1 platform in the cloud.

SAP Cloud solutions – delivered like a loosely coupled suite

A key area of differentiation is to let you consume cloud solutions as you need to meet business needs. Thus, we design and deliver solutions as a loosely coupled Suite. Customers can adopt services at their own pace and in their own way. When used together, these solutions offer the value proposition of a suite.

Why would you take this approach? Let’s say that you are an equipment manufacturer and that you just entered into a joint venture in China.  You will need a procurement solution to help source supplies, a financials solution to roll up to the parents, and a talent management solution to ensure the new team is aligned with the goals of the parent companies.  Furthermore, let’s assume the JV needs to be up and running in 90 days.  With SAP Cloud Solutions you can.

With our approach, customers now have a one stop shop, one hand to shake for their cloud solutions – which can be seamlesly integrated with their on-premise landscape. They no longer need to look beyond SAP.

Let us know your thoughts

Sven Denecken (@SDenecken)