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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Creating Advantage through Innovation with Steve Lucas – AFSUG Webcast

This was from an AFSUG webcast today with SAP’s SAP’s Steve Lucas and moderated by zimkhita buwa

First a thank you to AFSUG and Zim for making this webcast open to anyone.

Steve Lucas is SAP Global President of Platform Solutions, running the server and tools, the platform side of business.

He explained there are two groups – business applications group – classic applications – ERP/CRM/HCM to newer cloud application – SuccessFactors, Ariba and the platform – database, analytics, mobile, big data – technologies required to build applications

Platform group has grown to over 50% of SAP’s total revenue.

Some of his slides were shown at BI2014 BI 2014 Keynote Day 1 – Creating the Innovation Factory so I won’t repeat that here.


Figure 1: Source: SAP (click image to enlarge)

Figure 1 shows 40 years of “Innovation at SAP” and a history of SAP

Steve said SAP can deliver technology platform to turn you into innovation factory

Things have changed; SAP originally was on the mainframe, then moved to the client-server era

As the company evolved, SAP made a change to orientation of company

It was an applications company, and it needed to be a platform company to be “Stronger, better, faster, and build platform to build own applications”

From 2000 and on SAP redefined through acquisitions like BusinessObjects, Sybase and is the basis for platform organization:

  • Data management solutions
  • Analytics technology
  • Mobile platform for building and sharing

From storing data, analyze, share on mobile and expand to: Store and optimize, analyze & predict and share in real time.  For this you need a platform to build and run better and faster and sse as an innovation platform today

Step 1 is moving to the cloud.  Moving to the cloud there is an option to take application and put it on next gen platform HANA Enterprise Cloud.

Forward looking they plan continue to acquire and build cloud applications that run in a multi-tenant infrastructure – SuccessFactors and Ariba  – have moved or moving to HANA

HANA becomes central integration point for their strategy


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Steve said “Our game changer is HANA”

HANA is the lynchpin

There is code in HANA that allows to create end to end simple experience

HANA is “not just a fast database” he said.


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Companies have databases and analytics tools

The idea is to bring them together in one platform – one copy of the data for one solution


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows the Cloud company powered by HANA Vision,  integrated end end industry oriented enterprise application, in the cloud, on the phone, with your best platform


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows moving from batch to real time, using analytics to go  from analyze to predict – stop looking at rearview mirror and look at wind shield, said Steve.

For user experience, SAP has  “the mobile platform to customize experience”

Steve said they are disrupting “like never before”, with a bright future here

He said for the “BusinessObjects only customer” that SAP will “continue to win in Analytics”

Question & Answer

Q: Predictive – where even start? Why are customers scared about Predictive?

A: Word conjures up rocket science, Phd’s – math, simple steps, make complex things simple, simple things automated

Q: How does the recent changes and restructuring in SAP affect existing customer fears about disruptions in SAP’s product strategy?

A: Same design leadership prior to departures is doing the job

Other people need to step up

Steve said will be more vocal than before about strategy.  He said they are a culture and a team first

Q: Share any SAPPHIRE NOW sneak peeks?

A: New platform with new version of HANA and what it does – Steve made an analogy to Xbox

New native “games” (applications?) coming/announcements

New capabilities for SAP BusinessObjects Lumira (infographics)

Related – ASUG Annual Conference:

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1, SAP BW, and SAP BW on HANA – All in One Day Hands on Full Day- see

Jump Start ASUG Annual Conference SAPPHIRE with a Pre-Conference Session – Back and Better than Ever

Also please see:

Share your Story: Call for Sessions for ASUG at SAP d-code (former TechEd)

You are invited to submit a proposal to share your experience and expertise with your colleagues to speak at SAP d-code to be held October 20-24 in Las Vegas.  Others will benefit from your experience while you make a valuable contribution to the profession’s field of knowledge.

Follow this link to create a speaker account where you can formally submit your proposal, review important deadlines, and other general information about SAP d-code.  The deadline to submit your abstract is May 25. If you have any questions, please e-mail

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