The stage is set for our person-centric OnDemand solutions to debut in 2011. Last year represented an extremely important year for our organization, however we operated in ‘radio silence’ for the most of the year. We did not go public with our OnDemand line of business solutions, but worked behind the scenes to build a rock solid foundation for our new business, and to validate our solution concepts together with select co-innovation partners. Our first market exposure has a lot riding on it, as the heat is on to both deliver outstanding applications as well as to prove that we are a serious contender in the SaaS market.
We spent considerable time talking with our co-innovation customers in North America and EMEA in order to understand market requirements and pain points, as well as to fine-tune our person-centric solutions and applications. Their honest opinions shed light on ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’, and these insights enabled us to build a better product, scheduled for release during the first half of 2011 (see this articleabout the upcoming product launch at CeBIT in March 2011)
The curtain rose for the first time at the SAP Influencer Summit in December 2010, where we offered a sneak preview through a mix of strategy presentations and actual product demos. Reviews from the influencer community were encouraging, and confirmed that we are headed in the right direction. A sampling of post event Twitter sound bites validates that our messaging was on target:
- “This is the forward thinking edge #gottastartsomewhere”
- “I am very excited by the way SAP is working with the cloud! This is a huge advantage for their customers! Great work @sap”
- “SAP is far more coherent strategically than this time last year, delivery is now key.”
Feedback along these lines has been very motivating; as I strongly believe that our OnDemand solutions are fundamentally different offerings, not just copycat versions of another product or vendor. Of course the bar is high, and we still have a long way to go before we can claim victory.
If 2010 was all about deliberate product development, 2011 is all about delivery. The first person-centric application scheduled for launch in 2011, SAP Sales OnDemand, is designed specifically for the sales professional, leveraging a collaborative framework to enhance productivity and efficiency.
Charter clients should get their hands on our product in the weeks following the public launch. Going live will be both a ‘moment of truth’, as well as the start of a new journey. Real life feedback will reveal whether we hit the mark we were aiming for, as well as shed light on features that need to be tweaked. After our first market exposure, we plan to iterate fast, and release new waves at least twice a year to ensure we are incorporating feedback on a very regular basis. Massive upgrades every 2 years are a thing of the past, product enhancements will be very nimble and highly responsive to market dynamics.
And finally, we are so convinced about the value of our solutions that we plan to eat our own dog food and use the OnDemand applications in-house. SAP runs SAP! Internal rates of adoption will be a critical indicator of where we stand: SAP folks are not likely to use these solutions if they don’t see the value in them. Our internal users tend to be the toughest critics, so this feedback will be another benchmark for our solutions.
2011 is off to a positive start, and we are looking forward to the launch of our innovative, person-centric line of business solutions.