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Podcast – Sapphire 2009 in Review Interview with Michael Krigsman

Hey folks –

I’ve now uploaded several “Sapphire in Review” podcasts into the SCN document submission system, and I’ll be sharing them this week. This podcast with Michael Krigsman of ZDNet is my first in the series of post-Sapphire podcasts I tape after the conference. This is the first time I have uploaded a podcast in this format, so if it isn’t playing right or downloading properly on SCN, let me know and I’ll fix it.

I called this podcast “Sapphire 2009 in Review: Michael Krigsman, ZDNet Blogger, on SAP BBD, ERP Project Failure, and Sapphire Keynote Reactions,” On the podcast, Michael Krigsman of Asuret and popular ZDnet Blogger and Tweeter shares his honest views on SAP’s direction and how to avoid the business/IT project gap.

Michael’s focus is evaluating the keys to IT project success and failure, so during this twenty-eight minute podcast, I get Michael’s take on how the issue of project failure applies to ERP vendors and SAP specifically. I also gets the skinny on Michael’s investigations of Business By Design at Sapphire, and why he sees SAP’s focus on UI improvements and BI enhancements as important to ERP project success.

One main reason I wanted to feature the podcast on SCN this way is to get any comments you might have about the contents. I thought Michael’s comments on ERP project failure and how to avoid it were pretty interesting, as well as his thoughts on SAP BBD. I know he would welcome your feedback and I’ll be glad to make sure he sees any comments you leave for him here.

On the topic of BBD, here are a few comments from the podcast to trick you into listening to the whole thing:

Michael spent some time at Sapphire investigating the status of Business ByDesign (BBD), a much-maligned product that still divides analysts. Some believe SAP’s vow that they are taking BBD very seriously despite the delays, others feel SAP has dropped the ball. Where does Michael stand? Michael sees both sides of this debate, he sees SAP taking BBD very seriously, but they made fundamental technical errors or faulty architectural decisions that have impacted the current status of BBD. Michael interviewed, “almost to the point of rudeness,” a series of customers and executives, trying to get to the bottom of BBD.

What he found was a consistent story across the board, though SAP has not disclosed the scope of its SaaS plans in Krigsman’s view. Krigsman believes that in the evolving software industry, where more services are moving to the cloud, that SAP will make a strong BBD play. They haven’t figured out the economic model for BBD yet, but don’t count them out going forward, they’re in it “for the long haul.”

The customers Michael spoke to loved BBD. But there is a catch: they all cited the strong customer support they were getting from SAP. However, at the BBD price points, customer handholding won’t be economically viable. So, subtracting out the handholding from the equation, will the customer still be happy evaluating the software on its own merits? This is an important question to track.

The rest you can hear on the podcast – enjoy.

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