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Author's profile photo Jon Reed

Video Blog: Talking SAP OnDemand Strategy with SAP’s Peter Lorenz

With the holidays right around the corner, I’m running out of time to finish posting my SAP Influencer Summit video series – especially because this one, my talk with SAP’s Peter Lorenz, features a Christmas tree in the background.

If you missed the previous two video blogs, here are the links:

Vishal Sikka: Video Blog: Interview with Vishal Sikka at the SAP Influencer Summit

Rainer Zinow: Video Blog: Talking Business ByDesign and On-Demand Strategy  with SAP’s Rainer Zinow

Those who have seen my videos know that I prefer informal takes where hopefully good information is easily shared. The only problem with the quick take is sometimes sound isn’t the best. In the case of this video with Peter Lorenz, Executive Vice President, On-Demand Solutions and Small and Midsize Enterprises and corporate officer, the best semi-quiet spot was at a restaurant with Christmas decor in the background. The sound quality wasn’t bad, but I’ll include some summary notes underneath the video if you missed a key point or want to quickly skim.

This video was taped on December 7, 2010, the day before Peter delivered his keynote to kick off the dedicated On-Demand day on December 8. The eight minute video captures some of the key points in the keynote, including the distinction between “core” and “edge” with SAP’s new “unified” on-demand platform. Peter also discusses the Business ByDesign go-to-market strategy and how the ByDesign artchitecture will be utilized by Line of Business On-Demand applications.

Some video text highlights:

– SAP is now building on-demand solutions on a unified architecture. Peter: “We are converging more and more onto one platform.”

– The difference between on-demand “core” and “edge”? Edge applications are different in their nature – they are not necessarily transactional, and often they have a collaborative or social component.

– What we call “core” is the classic on-demand application platform, it’s part of Business ByDesign as well – SAP intends to approach “core” apps in an innovative way as well, but core apps are often transactional in nature.

– “Edge” is different – edge could be people-driven, analytic, informational, and those applications have different requirements. The extreme of that is the analytical apps tied directly to data, such as in HANA. This is very different than building a major app like CRM or SRM.

– SME customers are the market focus ByDesign. But large enterprise customers can also benefit from ByDesign applications using ByD in subsidiaries in the larger companies. Next year, with 2.6, SAP will introduce ByD to subsidiaries of large customers. In 2.6, ByD will include some out-of-the-box integration between ByD for subsidiaries and the respective SAP ERP back end. Eventually SAP will integrate ByD to older releases as well.

– Peter: “There are customers out there who have 300 subsidiaries and 200 software solutions I couldn’t believe it. In these times of TCO pressures and complexity issues, there’s a huge incentive on the customer side to clean this up and get more flexibility.”

– How can ByD be leveraged beyond the SME platform large enterprise customers in their line of business (LOB)? The first LOB app using the ByD platform is Sales OnDemand. SAP’s OnDemand architecture makes it possible to build a solution on the same stack, grabbing those pieces of the application platform you want – your own analytics, your own forms, your own mobile, your own UI, and ship it as a separate product.

– Peter “You can say we are experimenting internally with the extensibility tools we have created for the ByD platform, by using it ourselves first. Our colleagues for Sales OnDemand have used that stack to build their solution…in 2011, we’ll roll that our to our partners as well…when you want to get to volume and really play the OnDemand game, you have to involve partners. Therefore, we will leave a lot of white space open and share that toolkit outside the company.” 

Note: if you want to see the slide that Peter presented unveiling SAP’s “unified” on-demand stack, check out the Video Blog: Interview with Vishal Sikka at the SAP Influencer Summit where I included the slide. You may also want to check out the Jargon Buster piece I did for ERP Executive on “Answering the Questions about SAP’s OnDemand Applications,” where I break down the latest announcements in the simplest terms I can muster.

OK, that’s a wrap for my SAP Summit video series. Several people inside SAP were instrumental in making these videos happen, including Aiaz Kazi, but a particularly big holiday shoutout must go to Stacey Fish, who not only believes in this work and made sure these videos happened, but who made the whole program tick for the bloggers and Mentors who were there. If you’re like me and appreciate no-frills back and forth dialogue with executives and the information that comes back from that, then you should know that the blogger relations team at SAP (Stacey Fish, Mike Prosceno, Craig Cmehil, Andrea Kaufmann, Amisha Gandhi) work extremely hard to make that happen. Whatever we call “transparency” is more of an end goal than something that is easily achieved. But these folks challenge themselves, SAP, and, yes, us to change the conversation.

“Transparency” isn’t all fun and games. It brings a new level of accountability on all sides. Not just to talk-the-talk, but to follow through in responsible ways. For bloggers, I personally think that means sharing access instead of hoarding it, and aspiring to be what I call “ruthlessly fair” and worrying less about page views and sensational story angles. Easier said than done, as there is a connection between page views and putting food on the table that cannot be denied. So none of this stuff is easy in the least – but it’s a conversation that is changing what “Influencer” means. I expect the definition of “Influencer” to be hotly debated in the years to come, and that should keep things interesting!

Finally, I intentionally left my own opinions out of these video blogs, but if you want to know exactly what I thought, I gave my own detailed view on the PAC blog, “Making Sense of the SAP Influencer Summit 2010.”

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      I enjoyed the video and thank you for including the snippets.

      Happy holidays to you!


      Author's profile photo Jon Reed
      Jon Reed
      Blog Post Author
      Thanks Tammy. Good holiday wishes to you and I look forward to our collaborative projects in 2011...

      These videos were fun and I felt a coherent message coming from the three SAP execs I interviewed which has not always been the case.

      Now we get to find out about how SAP can move ahead and deliver this kind of thing to customers in 2011. Should be an interesting time.

      - Jon