We had the opportunity to attend Sapphire in Orlando, held from May 17th to 19th in Orlando. The Day #2 keynote is traditionally about product, and so it was also in 2016.
The keynote was divided across the three board members Rob Enslin, Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh. Take a look at my musings on the event here:
No time to watch – here is the 1 slide condensation:


Want to read on? Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:
S/4HANA has traction  - but is it enough? Robert Enslin shared what he called the ‘digital imperative’ to become a digital enterprises, where SAP provides the digital core with S/4HANA. Enslin shared that over 3200 S/4HANA licenses have been sold, 800 projects are implementing and over 160 customers are live. That’s good progress over the year, but not too much given the vast install base of SAP. I asked Enslin and Leukert on what may hold back S/4HANA adoption – and their view was in general, that all is well as S/4HANA adoption has surpassed expectations. Enslin said SAP has now to ramp up implementation resources and training, and roadmaps for customers, something to expect by end of Q2. Leukert shared that S/4HANA has made the HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) one of the faster growing products. Brave answers from both board members, but in my view it is clear that S/4HANA adoption - especially in public cloud, remains a challenge for SAP. 

HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) and PaaS debut in Sapphire keynote – For the longest time I have been wondering what holds SAP executives back from mentioning HCP in keynotes… well no longer the case – as Leukert spoke about PaaS and HCP multiple times. HCP was key in a demo (shown by legendary SAP demo man Ian Kimball) on manufacturing cars and in an (how else could it be in 2016) an IoT demo. Leukert did not stop there and went through the 3 core HCP scenario of Extend (SAP apps), integrate (SAP and 3rd party apps) and Create brand new applications. And HCP was the core of Leukert’s presentation – as HCP Integration capabilities are now the standard SAP integration platform between S/4HANA and all the other SAP SaaS properties.

The network apps vision gets a healthcare perspective - It was for Steve Singh to close the keynote, with refreshing thoughts, like thinking what best practice will be best practice in the future - not what is being done right now. Obviously connectivity is key for network applications, so he spend time on the topic of connectivity to the user, 3rd parties and SAP (I reversed the sequence to a better one IMO), all done via microservices and HCP (again!). The big news of his keynote was the announcement of a healthcare initiative, starting with a medical record. Certainly a connected application with a lot of potential as network application. SAP went so far to even invest in a healthcare player, benefits analytics vendor Castlight (see here).  


A good keynote by the three board members, each picking a specific area. The Nestle CIO conversation was certainly a highlight of Sapphire and should become a school book example for customers on how to behave on stage at a conference. He wasn't shy to mention the good, the bad and the ugly - very well done. 
On the concern side we have the S/4HANA adoption. To a certain problem this is a challenge of SAP's making, since this is the largest disruption since SAP customers moved from R/2 to R/3. And then lower operating costs made enterprises move to R/3 as soon as SAP was ready to provide the R/2 scope...  Today the value proposition to move is more challenging, as the cost advantages are not tangible, the cloud is uncertain and often (still) faced with concern and SAP has not provided the full / similar scope of the Business Suite. One could argue that SAP will never have to deliver the same functionality in the cloud era, but customers are concerned that they maybe missing out on something that is very important to them. Unfortunately customers cannot articulate too well often, what is really important to them, too. 

But overall a good keynote and key progress with (finally) mentioning and positioning HCP, an the GA of HANA VORA, the Spark based Hadoop / BigData capabilities that SAP announced late summer of last year. Both are crucial to help customer adoption, solve the integration challenge and keep SAP at the table when enterprises select vendor for next generation application platform selections. 

Looking forward to Day #3 - traditionally the Plattner keynote.... 

More on SAP:
  • News Analysis - SAP and Microsoft usher in new era of partnership to accelerate digital transformation in the cloud - read here
  • First Take -  SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
  • Event Preview - SAP Sapphire 2016 - What to expect and look for - read here
  • News Analysis - Apple & SAP Partner to Revolutionize Work on iPhone & iPad - read here
  • Progress Report - SAP SuccessFactors makes good progress - now needs appeal beyond SAP - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP HANA Vora now available... - A key milestone for SAP - read here
  • Event Report - SAP Ariba Live - Make Procurement Cool Again - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors innovates in Performance Management with continuous feedback powered by 1 to 1s  - read here
  • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Good Progress sprinkled with innovative ideas and challenging the status quo - read here
  • News Analysis - WorkForce Software Announces Global Reseller Agreement with SAP - read here
  • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Day #1 Keynote Top 3 Takeaways - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors introduces Next Generation of HCM software - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP delivers next release of SAP HANA - SPS 10 - Ready for BigData and IoT - read here
  • Event Report - SAP Sapphire - Top 3 Positives and Concerns - read here
  • First Take - Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh Day #2 Keynote - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP and IBM join forces ... read here
  • First Take - SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
  • In Depth - S/4HANA qualities as presented by Plattner - play for play - read here
  • First Take - SAP Cloud for Planning - the next spreadsheet killer is off to a good start - read here
  • Progress Report - SAP HCM makes progress and consolidates - a lot of moving parts - read here
  • First Take - SAP launches S/4HANA - The good, the challenge and the concern - read here
  • First Take - SAP's IoT strategy becomes clearer - read here
  • SAP appoints a CTO - some musings - read here
  • Event Report - SAP's SAPtd - (Finally) more talk on PaaS, good progress and aligning with IBM and Oracle - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP and IBM partner for cloud success - good news - read here
  • Market Move - SAP strikes again - this time it is Concur and the spend into spend management - read here
  • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors picks up speed - but there remains work to be done - read here
  • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Top 3 Takeaways Day 1 Keynote - read here.
  • Event Report - Sapphire - SAP finds its (unique) path to cloud - read here
  • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP becomes more about applications - again - read here
  • Market Move - SAP acquires Fieldglass - off to the contingent workforce - early move or reaction? Read here.
  • SAP's startup program keep rolling – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired KXEN? Getting serious about Analytics – read here.
  • SAP steamlines organization further – the Danes are leaving – read here.
  • Reading between the lines… SAP Q2 Earnings – cloudy with potential structural changes – read here.
  • SAP wants to be a technology company, really – read here
  • Why SAP acquired hybris software – read here.
  • SAP gets serious about the cloud – organizationally – read here.
  • Taking stock – what SAP answered and it didn’t answer this Sapphire [2013] – read here.
  • Act III & Final Day – A tale of two conference – Sapphire & SuiteWorld13 – read here.
  • The middle day – 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
  • A tale of 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
  • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire – read here.
  • Why 3rd party maintenance is key to SAP’s and Oracle’s success – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired Camillion – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired SmartOps – read here.
  • Next in your mall – SAP and Oracle? Read here
And more about SAP technology:
  • Event Prieview - SAP TechEd 2015 - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP Unveils New Cloud Platform Services and In-Memory Innovation on Hadoop to Accelerate Digital Transformation – A key milestone for SAP read here
  • HANA Cloud Platform - Revisited - Improvements ahead and turning into a real PaaS - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP commits to CloudFoundry and OpenSource - key steps - but what is the direction? - Read here.
  • News Analysis - SAP moves Ariba Spend Visibility to HANA - Interesting first step in a long journey - read here
  • Launch Report - When BW 7.4 meets HANA it is like 2 + 2 = 5 - but is 5 enough - read here
  • Event Report - BI 2014 and HANA 2014 takeaways - it is all about HANA and Lumira - but is that enough? Read here.
  • News Analysis – SAP slices and dices into more Cloud, and of course more HANA – read here.
  • SAP gets serious about open source and courts developers – about time – read here.
  • My top 3 takeaways from the SAP TechEd keynote – read here.
  • SAP discovers elasticity for HANA – kind of – read here.
  • Can HANA Cloud be elastic? Tough – read here.
  • SAP’s Cloud plans get more cloudy – read here.
  • HANA Enterprise Cloud helps SAP discover the cloud (benefits) – read here
Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below.

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