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Run Like Never Before: More than Advertising, Signaling Culture Change at SAP and the Importance of the DNA of SCN

It’s interesting to connect the “Run Like Never Before” campaign, launched today by SAP, to the conversations we’ve been having in the community over the past months.

Recall the blogs written last year by @jonerp &  @thorstenster about culture change and how the community and SAP Mentors, led by @markfinnern are a demonstration of same at SAP?

SAP at the Crossroads, Jon Reed


Not Your Grandfather’s SAP, Thorsten Franz

The “Run Like Never Before” campaign underscores at least two fundamental shifts in SAP’s business that evoke, for me, the spirit behind culture change reflected in Jon’s and Thorsten’s 2011 blogs: 1) a shift in the way SAP represents itself in the market – ERP “+plus” speedier, nimble technologies like mobile, in-memory, analytics and cloud – that are “not your grandfather’s SAP”; 2) a more human, engaging, compelling SAP that focuses on what our technologies allow, instead of feature/function.

This campaign targets humans/real people, not the stone edifices that are corporate entities. It moves from abstract technologies tohow our customers, who install SAP, help their customers get products out the door, faster/better/less expensively. The campaign is also cool enough to be interesting to our kids, which means the next generation can envision a career that touches SAP, perhaps as a technical or LoB worker (we have a future and it is them).

To quote Thorsten from his 2011 blog mentioned above:

“SAP has effectively transformed into a company you can hardly identify with the grey-concrete type of company it was in the nineties, when I got started in the SAP industry. Let me give you some examples that, taken together, characterize the “new SAP”:

  • It has created a vibrant community of passionate SAP experts, the SAP EcoSystem consisting of customers and partners.
  • It has established the Mentor program, in which key members of the community are given a voice both towards the community and the executives. (Being a member of that program myself, I can assure you that.. there are.. open doors for us that were previously closed for years whenever necessary.)
  • It created Idea Place, an open channel for ideas on how to improve products, services, and processes. It is really open..“

Yes, our mobile, in-memory, analytics and cloud technologies are in varying stages of adoption by our customers. We in the community are aware of the debates about our successes and challenges in these spaces – heck, SCN drives allot of the debate. But SAP has a very promising future. This campaign focuses us on that compelling future and the individuals who will be beneficiaries of the technologies (without ever knowing SAP is helping deliver that benefit). “Run Like Never Before” is targeted at SAP enthusiasts AND a broader audience to change that last phrase so this will be true to a lesser and lesser extent in the future …(without ever knowing SAP is helping deliver that benefit).

This is the official Run Like Never Before landing page.

We on the SCN Community and Social Media team invite our members to discuss your thoughts on the campaign here. Can you see the wisdom of the “Run Like Never Before” campaign and that your participation in SCN is part of the vision behind it? Would love to hear your comments.

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  • Isaac, Thank you for commenting. The landing page was designed for  a specific audience, which is why we posted this blog on a different space to discuss the context for the campaign. There are places to engage on that landing page, and lots to learn there, but you may be more of an SAP Community – like person, so keep coming here!