SAP Teched 2011 , here I come
Travel has been crazy off late for me, and I do not look forward to yet another flight, rental car and hotel room. However, the sheer excitement that Teched raises trumps all of that, and I am going yet again. My number one reason to go is to meet the “real” who is who in SAP ecosystem – fellow mentors, customers, bloggers, consultants and SAP experts.
For the fourth time in a row, I am presenting something at Teched. This time, it is about HANA – how to make an analytics scenario work from provisioning to modelling to reporting. I will have to do it at the speed of HANA to finish in an hour 🙂 . Also, it is the last session for the day – and I will be standing between the audience and Vegas nightlife. Can’t wait 🙂
Marilyn and Heike – two of the most wonderful people at SAP that I know – have invited me to a panel discussion on Design Thinking and Inclusion on Wednesday evening. I am very honored, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts and learning from the group there.
Despite having played with HANA quite a bit – that is the topic I am most keen to learn about. There is a lot that I do not know about HANA that I expect to learn at Teched – from SAP experts like Thomas Torf, as well as folks like Harald R, Vitaliy R, John Appleby. This will also be an opportunity for me to give my feedback on HANA back to SAP.
One conversation I am looking forward to have at Teched is the future of SAP consulting. Will there be a big disruptive change? or will it be incremental? I see a lot of stuff on internet by analysts and bloggers that disruption is going to happen any minute now. I have not seen that at my clients – so I want to sit down as discuss this to see why I am the only one living under a rock.
Here are my thoughts on this matter.
What is going to drive disruption? the common answers are HANA, mobility and on-demand. Lets take a look at each of them.
HANA is brand new. While price-performance ratio is quite good, between HW, SW and consulting – it is still quite pricey to implement it for just datamart scenarios. Next version becomes DB for BW. But then, there are only about 15000 BW instances in the world as I understand. And not many are in the latest 7.3 version. In short term I expect some upgrade opportunities for consultants, but I wonder how many will actually implement HANA in near term. Long term – HANA becomes DB for Business Suite, and probably will make a significant impact. But I see this as an incremental increase, and not a mass movement.
On demand is an area that could cause disruption in long term – in terms of decreasing the dependency on consulting effort. But LOB on demand solutions are all in initial stages and ByD – while making progress, is not anywhere near the number of seats that SAP’s competitiors have. My guess is that by 2015 or so it will become a half billion dollar revenue stream for SAP, assuming they get some big shops to buy lot of seats. SAP has stiff competition for netsuite, workday and SFDC and others. There is also the question of cannibalising existing on-premises systems. It puts SAP in a hard spot – there is always a risk of customers moving to competitor’s OD solutions, but on other hand – a proactive move from SAP will cut existing maintenance fees. I am very curious to see how this play out.
Mobile is where I see the most disruption in short term. I do not believe that Mobile is the new desktop. Mobile is a good second device to have, and parts of the business process can surely be done on Mobile. My best guess is about 10% of ECC functionality can be mobile-only and rest will stay as it is. But 10% is quite a bit, and should be a good thing for consultants. Although creating a hello world mobile app is very easy – it is not child’s play to have enterprise quality apps. It is not just the app itself – device support, maintenance, licensing, security, provisioning, native/HTML5 type issues – it is quite a big deal. But all said – this is where I have seen the most interest from customers on where they want to invest money. I am looking forward to all the innovations SAP will showcase in this area.
As always, I will attend at least one session each by Ingo, Thomas Jung and Prakash Darji . I am taking the easy route by not gaving a fixed agenda. There are some mentor meetings on my calendar that Mark Finnern has organized kindly for us. Apart from that, I just intend to go with the flow, and check out anything that catches my eye. I do expect to wear the mentor shirt most of the time – so it should be easy to find me. I am looking forward to great conversations with all the teched attendees, and having some fun.