This morning we had the opportunity to attend the Day #2 keynote at Sapphire in Orlando. It was the traditional product day with both Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh on stage.
Here are my Top 3 takeaways:

Decision Support / Simulation for Manufacturing – Leukert did a good job talking about the qualities of S4HANA. Even better to show a demo, and it was about a manufacturing scenario. Not sure how relevant the demo was for the audience, but the capability to simulate and support decisions is a key quality for next generation applications. It is good to see SAP focus on those two aspects and even better to demo them. Now we need to understand how these capabilities can be brought to the broad range of its enterprise offerings.

The three leitmotivs of the  Leukert Keynote

HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) for IoT – In a bold move Leukert positioned HCP (HANA Cloud Platform) as the platform for IoT, maintaining that the platform is ready and ‘has everything you need ‘ for IoT. The differentiator – no surprise – is the tight integration into the business applications. I have been critical of SAP’s IoT efforts due to HANA in memory cost and inability to address IoT scale BigData (see here) – but read on for the next takeaway
Did SAP over promise? 25 Industries - on premise?

Hadoop / Spark to coexist with HANA!? – In about a minute Leukert talked about the most impactful announcement of this Sapphire – that SAP will make HANA work with Hadoop / Spark in the 2nd half of 2015. The impact is huge for SAP customers and SAP as the vendor till this point had a rocky relationship with BigData qualities (think Vs like volume, velocity et.). Yes there are and were the Sybase connectors, but the risk was that HANA would ‘just’ be a fas tcache that slowly but steady was going to be replaced by Spark and other Hadoop native in memory technologies. SAP is – maybe soon was – at the losing end of a trend of customers using BigData technologies for their next generation application projects, especially in the IoT use case. As blogged before none of our customers and other project we are aware off are using HANA (or a similar in memory database system) to run the operational store for IoT scale data. So more details needed – but a BigBreakthrough (spelling pun intended) for SAP, if it gets this right.

What - HANA, Hadoop and Spark on one SAP slide?!


A good Day #2 keynote that traditionally is focused more on product. At times I thought SAP gave too much room to customers – usually a good thing – but today it was at the cost of missing vital details. Though a geeky topic – only one minute on HANA / Hadoop plans was too short and SAP missed the opportunity to dissuade any viability concerns around e.g. IoT to a wide keynote audience. SAP could /should have also done more around PaaS / HCP in my view – and no word about data center strategy / rollout. Tough to be a cloud company that wants to be in the cloud and not mention anything in these regards.

Lastly I am worried that SAP overstated the scope and capability of S/4HANA – I'm left wondering how all 25 industry codes can be available just 3 months after launch. These are millions of lines of code – and to bring them all to the qualities Plattner postulated at the launch 3 months ago seems… impossible (read my take here). But we hope to learn more in the next two days and promise to keep you posted!

And more on overall SAP strategy and products:
  • 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:
  • 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