As CIO for SAP Americas, Michael Golz travels extensively throughout the Western Hemisphere. He recently returned from trips to Latin America, where he presented as part of the SAP Forums, whose theme was “The Future of Business.” Bill Kozel spoke with Michael about his impressions and observations.
Bill: Michael, how were your trips?
Michael: Fantastic. I had the pleasure of presenting at the events in São Paulo, Brazil, and Mexico City. These are key markets for SAP, and I was really blown away by the attendance, the scale, and the energy. The programs were SAPPHIRE-like events, with 6,000 to 8,000 people, a large show floor, and big theater presentations.
Bill: What were the key topics?
Michael: There was a very strong focus on SAP HANA – both for SAP Business Suite on HANA and as a platform. In Mexico City, Bill McDermott launched SAP Business Suite for SAP HANA in Latin America, and that generated a lot of excitement. SAP is the only company offering anything like this, and it’s a game-changer for enterprise software.
Bill: How did the audience respond?
Michael: Our message resonated very well. People understand that running SAP Business Suite in memory is really unique, because it takes away critical boundaries and restrictions that have made IT solutions, especially high-speed transactional and analytics applications, complex.
Bill: What did you tell them about SAP’s experience in running SAP CRM on SAP HANA?
Michael: We showed how we run our internal SAP CRM system on SAP HANA for more than 14,000 registered users, and support up to 10,000 concurrent users. These people represent all lines of business, from marketing to sales and support to finance to field services – all running on and sharing the same system, and all working with the same customer data.
As a result, SAP’s team gets a 360o view of every customer, from the first lead throughout the entire buying process to ongoing support. With CRM on SAP HANA, all transactions are processed on the same platform as our CRM Analytics. This means that all data is available in real-time, without the need to pre-configure cubes, drill-downs, and accelerations – it is all available in memory in an instant for whatever analysis you would like to run. That’s something that a lot of companies would really love to have. And we can show them how it runs in real life. We have very good proof points on processes that were never possible before.
We also showed that with SAP HANA, infrastructure and applications are moving closer together and becoming interwoven. So from an organizational perspective, there’s less of a divide.
Bill: What kind of questions did you get?
Michael: People asked a lot of very detailed and insightful questions about SAP CRM on SAP HANA, especially related to disaster recovery, failover scenarios.
They also asked whether we’re really running SAP HANA as a database – which we are. Some people still think of the traditional “sidecar” scenario. So when we tell them that their ordinary database will go away, they’re surprised and think about the implications for the system landscape and their teams. But when we explain that all their well-established SAP mechanisms and practices – including backup and restore – will still work the same way, they become more comfortable. They need to see a live, credible reference, and SAP is one.
The most exciting discussions with customers in both Brazil and Mexico were about business scenarios in different industries, from Financial Services to Engineering and Mining. We talked about the possibilities that SAP HANA brings and how they can apply to new business scenarios in their industry.
Bill: Was this a sneak preview of your presentations at SAPPHIRE NOW 2013?
Michael: Absolutely. Attendees can expect to hear a lot more about how we’re using SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA. And judging from my trip, that’s what everyone is most excited about.
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Written by Manik N. Saha, CIO – Asia Pacific & Japan
What will APJ customers be looking for @ SAPPHIRE?
A few weeks ago, at the SAP Forum in Mumbai, I had the opportunity to host a CIO lunch. During this lunch and the conversations that followed, one theme stood out – all the companies represented at the discussion were eager to exchange ideas on enterprise innovation. I was amazed at the intensity and passion of my peers to make technology work for the success of their business and grow their footprints beyond local and regional markets (many of who were well established towards that direction).
This made me reflect on our own SAP story in the Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ) region. Over the last 25 years of SAP being present in APJ, we have grown exponentially in this region, with a diverse ecosystem of customers, partners and employees. The correlation between our growth and the growth in the industry in APJ is not a co-incidence. Operating in 12 countries, today we have over 14,000 employees and 1,400 partners in the APJ region supporting around 22,000 customers.
A pillar of our success has been SAP’s ability to innovate in different technology categories, and bring these innovations into the enterprise space. At Global IT, we strive to be early adopters of SAP’s innovations and we ourselves continually innovate our IT services and solutions.
As an example, by using our SAP Afaria platform, over the last 3 years we were able to deploy over 45K smartphones (IOS and Android based) and 5,5K BYOD mobile devices. Our large employee footprint in India and China has seen a significant adoption of BYOD for mobile phones, which validates that the consumerization of IT is real.
To support these mobile devices, we had to also innovate our IT services. We have established Enterprise Mobility Solution Centers in multiple key locations within the region, to provide a more consumer-centric support to our employees. As a result, employees get a personalized service each time they have an issue with any IT equipment, and our IT satisfaction has really grown.
Heading into SAPPHIRE next week, I’m eager to welcome and look forward to meeting our customers from APJ. Customers will be able to meet Global IT experts at the SAP Runs SAP booth on the SAPPHIRE showfloor. These experts have deep knowledge of SAP’s technology, LoB solutions and project experience. The present Global IT Management team has multiple years of experience in IT governance, strategy and management – and many of them will be available at the booth to talk to customers.
For the first time, I will personally host tours of our SAP Runs SAP booth for APJ customers and partners. The one hour walkabout tour around SAP Runs SAP will provide our customers an opportunity to meet the experts. During this tour, we would like to share our innovation practices and experiences with our customers, and learn from them what we could do differently or better.
If you are going to SAPPHIRE Orlando 2013, please drop by the SAP Runs SAP booth. I look forward to meeting you and talking more about enterprise innovation!
Manik N. Saha
CIO – Asia Pacific & Japan