Sapphire 2017 is coming up and a lot of buzz is around what we will learn from this year’s SAP party. I have been going there for the past few years, and things have changed quite a lot - we learned how clients use the different R/3 modules, got exposed to Line of Business products like CRM, SCM, etc. and witnessed the integration of acquisitions like Business Objects, SuccessFactors, and more.
In between there was a real technology hype with the introduction of Netweaver; something I at that time hoped would be a true enabler of Service Oriented Architecture. That was a bit premature as the R/3 system was still too closed and perhaps too tightly integrated (which of course SAP considered to be their Unique Selling Point).
But this year, I am really excited about Sapphire. Recent developments in SAP have not only brought us the “HANA movement,” with its agile development environments and the opening of the R/3 box, but also new developments centered on the Internet of Things.
With their latest release of the Internet of Things platform, SAP shows that it is not only here to be the “Systems of Record,” but that it will basically record everything in your corporate system. By becoming more of a platform company, rather than a master of content integration, SAP has created the flexibility to not only register these systems, but also to create value from them.
The question now is whether or not they can convince their clients that this is the right journey for which they need a strong partner to record their systems instead of one who acts as a “System of Records”. With the former, clients will remain on the SAP journey. In the latter, clients will keep their current SAP environments stable, but will not invest in new SAP platforms.
In the coming days, I will share my thoughts on where we see SAP heading and what we can expect from Sapphire 2017. Stay tuned and enjoy the event.