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45 external consultants from 11 different partners attended training this week in Palo Alto on our new cloud-based HANA platform for Sales and Operations Planning.  Training was conducted by Solution Mgmt and Product Mgmt for 2 full days.  The response from customers has been tremendous – they clearly see the value, the beautiful usability of the HTLM5 and the MS Excel interface, the flexibility.  So why has adoption been so slow???

Tough question.  It may be because customers are so accoustomed to on-premise offerings in the supply chain space.  But this does not make sense to me.  Most customers have already deployed some type of cloud-based application and recognize that applications in the cloud are less expensive, are deployed faster, require less maintenance, and have faster development cycles.

It may be because S&OP is a ‘mature’ process and customers have made-do without technology support.  In nearly every customer visit/workshop, the customer is using spreadsheets and BW/BI.  So, maybe customers are struggling with the value proposition – why should I buy a solution to run a process that I have been running for 10 years?  (I do have the answer to that question by the way).

The security question has come up occasionally as well – will my data be secure, what is the back up situation, I’m dealing with sensitve sales data, etc.  Security should not be a reason to delay a sales cycle however – it’s just another check box.  Again, we have the answers, we have the expertise, we have the validation. 

So, in preparation for Sapphire, we will be having customer sessions, partner sessions, theatre sessions, ASUG sessions, demo showcases and micro-forums.  The conversations will be fast and furious, and I really want to understand why customers are moving slowly in an area that has had a clear void in technology-enablement.  We finally have the answer.  Just need to understand the question…

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