We had the opportunity to attend SAP's developer conference TechED in Las Vegas, held from October 8th till 12th 2018 at the Venetian Conference center. Attendance was not officially disclosed, but from other events held at the same location I'd peg it at 3k+. 




Prefer to watch – here is my event video … (if the video doesn't' show up – check here

Here is the 1 slide condensation (if the slide doesn't show up, check here): 


Want to read on? Here you go:

ABAP GA in SAP CP – For the longest time SAP has not supported its largest developer community, the ABAP developers. SAP started to correct course a year ago and has now delivered the first support for ABAP in CP. Spontaneous applause from the audience, as this is clearly a win for developers, CxOs and SAP. The most important thing now is to get code assets built in ABAP available on SAP CP, on the supported public IaaS, as enterprises have built millions of lines of code in ABAP. The good news to give CxOs some confidence – SAP has built even more ABAP internally and it looking as well at this re-use and migration challenge.

SAP enters FaaS – With the SAP ambition to fully support 'Build' scenarios with SAP CP, it has to support as well platform innovations like Function as a Service (FaaS). Beyond that, SAP needs that for its own SaaS ambitions as well. NextGen Apps in the IoT space are unthinkable without FaaS support. SAP will have to figure out its cross-IaaS support for the new offering, stay tuned. For enterprises this is a welcome development and its key to keep an eye on the topic. Enterprises requiring FaaS for their next gen apps in the SAP ecosystem should validate in test cases / in the lab.

Gardener is a double proof point – Open Source and Containers – Similar to its younger sibling FaaS, containers are how next gen apps are being built. Crucial to build modern next gen Apps, both from a Build and an Extension perspective. And given containers are a little longer around, SAP has already solved the multi-cloud / multi-IaaS challenge that it has with its cloud deployments… enters Gardener, an open source project for cross cloud management of Kubernetes…. SAP doing open source was very new 3-4 years ago, now almost a normalcy, but key for SAP to remain competitive and another proof point how open source has won. For CxOs this means that SAP CP cross IaaS next gen apps are becoming tangible and something to try in the labs to validate.


SAP is making substantial progress with SAP CP. With the commitment of getting the "5 sisters" (Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass, Hybris and SuccessFactors) platformed on SAP CP there is a much clearer platform strategy going forward. SAP has bet on CloudFoundry and CloudFoundry has won the PaaS market (for now). At the same time Kubernetes is for the first time giving CxOs cross IaaS portability and it's good to see SAP supporting that with Gardener. FaaS is early days in general, especially for cross IaaS FaaS, where the IaaS vendors all try to create lock-in. But CxOs don't want lock-in – neither does SAP – so SAP has an important role to play and may have to use its muscle to build a cross IaaS FaaS standard (dangling all the on-premise load that SAP commands will make all top 3 IaaS vendors pay attention). For CxOs this means SAP CP has delivered another proof point to be the PaaS of choice when building net gen Apps in the SAP ecosystem.

On the concern side, SAP needs to deliver more proof points of customers building their next gen Apps. European IoT startup Kaiserwetter is a great story but getting over-used. It's a chicken and egg problem – SAP needs to build the capabilities, enterprises need to validate them and build on them. Progress and roadmaps by the "5 Sisters" as well as S/4HANA on using SAP CP will be key to be published soon, giving CxOs the confidence to be able to steer their enterprise in the keel water of the SAP super tanker… always a good place to be for an enterprise: Use products, especially platforms – the same way as the platform vendor does. And then there is the long-term lack of native support for BigData / Hadoop in SAP CP / SAP overall. With the Cloudera / Hortonworks merger, this convo is getting even easier, as effectively there are only two vendors left (MapR is the other one). SAP needs to overcome the in memory / HANA credo by its prominent founder for the sake of customer easy to build next gen Applications.

Overall good progress by SAP. Observers need to keep in mind this was the first of three SAP TechEds happening in short succession. Both board member Bernd Leukert and SAP CTO Bjoern Goehrke re-assured me that SAP has more platforms news in store… so expectations for Barcelona (next week, October 22nd to 25th) are up. Expect platform news there. Bangalore usually has developer news being unveiled…

Checkout some more SAP PaaS releated assets:
  • Find the Constellation Shortlist for PaaS here
  • Recording of a conversation I had with SAP CTO Bjoern Goehrke see here
  • Offering Overview - SAP Cloud Platform - A new standard for a SaaS vendor's PaaS - see here