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It’s been a couple of months since the US TechED conference and cloud computing is still fresh on the lips of executives as they consider forward investments for 2014.  Over the past year, SAP has clarified its heterogeneous approach to cloud computing – and embraced it – as one of the few customer-centric cloud portfolio options available in the market today.  My conversations with Sven Denecken, SAP Vice President of Cloud Strategy, offers a glimpse into the decision making approaches of customers considering cloud based solutions with on-premises investments, and the way forward to integrate the many hybrid use cases across many SAP mobile and cloud platforms (SMP, Ariba, Syclo, ByD and Success Factors).

[WN] SAP has conveyed the need to manage a forward, integrated roadmap of its Success Factors (SF) and SAP ByDesign (ByD) offerings with on-premises solutions.  As a Line of Business owner, what are some of the emerging use cases and license structures that can be available to SAP customers, including bring your own license (BYOL) options?

[SD] Only SAP can handle such various heterogeneous environments – cloud based processes, cloud ERP, on-premises ERP – which are the reality of many enterprises today.  As an example let me share a current use case based on a real example.  Company ABC uses an on-premises CRM solution for back office users in headquarters and major locations.  ABC can extend this capability via a cloud based solution for the sales personnel “on the street.”  A subsidiary runs their back office on a cloud ERP and extends their sales agents via the same corporate cloud sales solution as well.

Our licensing model to cloud solutions follows the typical industry approach, per user, per use case/functionality. And we offer a combination between cloud solutions and ERP modules already today.  In respect to functionality, process and data integration and licensing, SAP offers “one hand to shake.”

[WN] If we look at the ByD architecture, the environment is very HTML5 friendly and conducive to mobile web services (such as a commonly built m.dot site).  How do customers rationalize this basic HTML5 approach via building data consuming apps using SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) to do either or both?

[SD] We are converging to one platform of development and one user experience (UX) strategy (with the introduction of Fiori) as well.  This will include the mobile user interfaces of our public cloud solutions. In many cases they have been the trend setter for our UX strategy.  Especially HTML5 friendly user interface technology will be one very viable option we are supporting.

[WN] In terms of the HANA Enterprise Cloud, what road map opportunities (by LOB or industry) can the forward cloud strategy offer to SAP customers?

[SD] We are already offering industry specific solutions based on the HANA Cloud platform technology.  Some of the ones that come to mind include Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), Financial Services Network (FSN), Cloud for Financials, Business One Cloud, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Service On Demand, SAP Product Stewardship Network, and SuccessFactors Employee Central “Show Me” media service.  Also our partners are developing extensions on this platform already and we have a combined go-to-market established to serve our customers.

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