Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Owen Pettiford

SAP Leonardo “Reloaded” – Unifying People, Process and Technology to Enable Digital Transformation.

At SAPPHIRE SAP announced an all new “version” of SAP Leonardo. Before SAPPHIRE SAP Leonardo had been used to describe what SAP was doing in the Internet of Things space, at SAPPHIRE SAP redefined SAP Leonardo to mean what SAP is doing to help companies achieve Digital Transformation.

SAP Leonardo brings together a combination of the following :-

  • Consulting Services to help companies imagine what Digital Transformation could deliver – using Design Thinking.
  • Consulting Services to help create prototypes based on SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Applications and any required 3rd party applications.
  • Pre-packaged industry solutions and templates to accelerate Digital Transformation following industry patterns and trends.
  • SAP will also provide SAP Leonardo Labs where customers can go to see examples of Digital Transformation and work on their own innovations. I understand that these ae planned in Berlin, Palo Alto, New York, Paris, Sao Leopoldo (Brazil) and Johannesburg.


Some of the above services will be free, some fixed price, and I understand SAP will get partners enabled in the “Leonardo” Way.

Not a New Idea

The idea is not a completely new one, in 2005 SAP started the “Enterprise SOA (ESOA) Adoption Program” which was about getting SAP Customers to understand what they could achieve with SAP NetWeaver. I was involved in this program and it led me to post my first ever blog on SCN. I think the program was closed down in 2012 when SAP declared that Enterprise SOA had been adopted.

As SAP starts to ramp up its Leonardo efforts, I think it would do well to look back at the Enterprise SOA Adoption Program, considering what went well and what could have been done better.

What went well

  • It gave a common method for sales and consulting to follow.
  • It tied the application of ESOA to the company strategy.
  • Identified common patterns for ESOA usage that could be shared between roadmaps.
  • Defined Enterprise Service Packages which were predefined application ideas that customers could follow. This was my second SCN
  • Provided a test system for people to experiment to ESOA (ES Workplace)

What didn’t go so well

  • It lacked an implementation component, so many good ideas didn’t get developed.
  • SAP didn’t enable partners in the method which reduced the scale up capability.
  • SAP didn’t deliver applications that use the architecture.
  • The method became industrialized so that people with little or no expertise in ESOA could deliver the roadmaps – this lack of real world experience drove down the quality of some of the roadmaps.
  • In the end it became a numbers game, with targets for the number of roadmaps not for the actual adoption of ESOA.

Will Leonardo Address These Issues ?

At first glance it looks like Leonardo might be able to address the weaknesses of the ESOA Adoption Program and hopefully maintain the good parts.

  • Including free and fixed price consulting services to deliver mock ups and prototypes will bring the ideas to life. SAP BUILD will be key to making this happen – I wish we had had this when I was consulting in ESOA ! I also think that delivering on Leonardo Industry Content and also building use-case in the SAP Core Applications will make the program more accessible to companies that want to be fast followers.
  • I understand SAP wants to spread the Leonardo approach to partners – the only fly in the ointment is that some of these partners already have Digital Transformation methods – so the question for SAP is will they want to spend time learning a new one !
  • I think the problem of quality and counting numbers as the Leonardo scales will be something for SAP to watch closely. However being more focused on delivering tangible solutions should mean that we get more referenced solutions and less PowerPoints !!

Good luck to SAP Leonardo.

Assigned Tags

      Be the first to leave a comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.