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The hype of the Super Bowl often detracts from the actual game.   Between the food, the commercials and the half time show, it is easy to forget that there was a football game being played on the field. Each team had to battle throughout the season – each team did not look like a super bowl contender in week 4.  And yet, by focusing on the basics, each team made it to the big game.

The analogy is eerily similar to our own technology Super Bowl.  Our draft picks are clear – the Cloud and HANA.  There is no doubt that the future will be dominated by cloud applications, and that the leading technology of HANA will be a disruptive force.  But today, we have a battle on the field, and we still have to block and tackle.  Don’t forget to focus on the basics – customers still need our help with true and tried applications.

I just spent the last 2 hours on the phone with a long time SAP chemical company and an SAP solution engineer.  10 people dialed in to the demo from around the globe, and the demo had nothing to do with the cloud, and nothing to do with HANA.  Good ole capable to promise, global available to promise – classic core APO is still extremely valuable and will still win the fight on the field.  There will be times when we need to effectively demonstrate applications that are not new to win the game – you really can’t simplify until you block and tackle.  This challenge may be indicative of the chemicals industry – we have customers who have been using SAP for longer than most of us have been employed here.

When we get the blocking and tackling done right, we will pave the way to the cloud and to HANA – the beauty and simplicity of Integrated Business Planning truly is impressive.  In the meantime, let’s just watch Katy Perry from the sidelines and hope that Nationwide never does another Super Bowl commercial.

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