Liveblog: SAPPHIRE Co-CEO Keynotes


SAP co-CEOs Bill McDermott (left) and Jim Hagermann Snabe

ORLANDO – SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE customer event kicks off Tuesday morning with a live keynote session from SAP Co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagermann Snabe.

This year’s SAPHIRE happens as the company is undergoing a channel renaissance, having committed its SME business to its partner base. And according to executives on hand, that transition is beginning to bear fruit.

But more on that later, as will have chats with North American channel chief Kevin Gilroy, Canadian channel leaders Rene Giguere and Mary Peterson, and worldwide reseller chief Fritz Neumeyer at the event.

But first thing’s first. McDermott and Hagermann Snabe take the stage at about 9 am Eastern on Tuesday. Join us after the jump for as-it-happens coverage of the event.

  SAPPHIRENOW Co-CEO Keynotes (05/17/2011) 
Good morning. SAPPHIRE keynotes getting underway now with a musical interlude from The Max Weinberg Seven.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:03 
A couple of songs, and we’re on to the opening video… our hosts for the morning are Miles O’Brien and Carmen Wong Ulrich.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:12 
And out comes Bill McDermott to get things.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:15 
McDermott’s topic is “Business in the moment.” Currently talking through being “in the moment” with Weinberg.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:16 
“This is officially the biggest SAPPHIRE ever in the history of SAP,” McDermott says, including both on-location people, Web streamers and remote locations.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:17 
Starting with the consumer viewpoint — “the center of gravity” in business – moving faster than ever before and have more choices than ever before.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:17 

In brick and mortar world, an unhappy customer told ten people, McDermott says. In the social media world “everyone knows.”

Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:18 
But the same is true in reverse — happy customers become advocates.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:18 

“Big data” being collected about consumer activities. The trouble is keeping up with it — tons of data never analyzed, time and resources spent on reports. “More than 70 per cent of employees never meet a customer,” McDermott says.

Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:19 
“We cannot allow consumer information to be lost. Customer intimacy cannot be ad hoc,” McDermott says.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:20 
So how to engage “the customer’s customer to flip the status quo?” McDermott’s answer is — hence the subject — “business in the moment,” specifically the moment the user chooses your company — in the store, on the Web or on the mobile device. “This is the moment of truth.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:21 
Delivering in the moment boosts trust, which boosts profitability and employee profitability, McDermott suggests. “Trust is the force multiplier that makes the world run better.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:22 
To get that trust, you need to analyze masses of data at the speed of thought — and McDermott breaks into the topic of in-memory computing. “This changes everything,” he said. Activities that used to take weeks or days now takes seconds, and that allows businesses to make better decisions.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:23 
Beyond in-memory, need to mobilize the experience — while PC shipments are in decline, smartphones and tablets are the fastest-growing products in the history of the industry, McDermott says. “Stay close to your customers wherever they are.” And that’s where Sybase comes in.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:24 
Third thing — “connect business processes end to end,” from your customer to your board room, back to your supplier. “In other words, you need to optimize your entire value network.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:25 

McDermott offers the eample of a client that has done these three things very well — namely cosmetics giant Avon.

Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:26 
McDermott says Avon is in the midst of its biggest technology overhaul ever because the products are there that support what they need to do — a force of 6.5 million salespeople who can show their customers the entire catalogue on their mobile device — and then seamlessly order.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:28 
McDermott: SAP’s singular goal is “make the world run better,” and that’s a wrap from him.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:30 

Or not. Actually, he’s sitting down for an interview with Wong Ulrich.

Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:30 
McDermott: Innovative technologies can be disruptive, and can help customers change the game and “grow the pie” when it comes to sales.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:31 
For more details on that SAP/Avon connection mentioned earlier, out comes “Renee,” an Avon sales associate. She’s showing off using an iPad to take a customer — in this case Wong Ulrich — through an order.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:34 
Pretty slick little app – go through the catalogue include stock information, and provide a virtual “demo” of various makeup products. In the past, this was done with paper, catalogues, forms.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:36 
It’s the same with SAP. McDermott says he and Hagermann Snabe “run SAP on iPads.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:37 
Flips over to a video with Bob McDonald, CEO of Procter and Gamble, talking up P&G’s relationship with SAP. And then Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armor, for the same thing.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:39 
Q: “Where are you at right now with SAP?”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:41 
A: The obligitory “no place I’d rather be.” Last year, SAP signalled what we coming. This year it’s here with in-memory, mobile and cloud. “Let’s change the status quo. Let’s disrupt and get these businesses growing again.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:42 
And with that, we’re off to “a commercial break” before Hagermann Snabe gets going.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:44 
And out comes Hagemann Snabe, who quips that he should have brought his trumpet to join the Max Weinberg Seven.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:46 
“In a resource-constrained world, time is the most contrained resource of all,” Hagemann Snabe says.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:46 

“It’s time for innovation, not consolidation,” he says.

Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:47 
Offering the example online grocery retailer FreshDirect and how excited many of his New York City-based team are about the service.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:48 
A grocery company, an online store and a transportation company brought together to delight their customer – fresher foods, lower prices, delivered. (But hasn’t online grocery been around and evolving for about a decade now?)
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:48 
Moving to SAP has dropped FreshDirect’s late delivery by 80 per cent, Hagemann Snabe says.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:49 
Last year, SAP promised customers a choice of “on device,” “on demand,” or “on premise” with consistent experience.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:50 
On Prem – “We have have innovated in every single one of products., and has signed 40,000-plus deals since May 2010.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:51 
500 Business By Design customers on the cloud side of things — Compared to R3 from back in the day, ByDesign growing much faster.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:52 
Through Sybase purchase, more than 4.5b devices connected.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:52 
“We’re just at the beginning of this innovation cycle. You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:52 

Today, businesses and value chains need to react to situations and respond as one, Hagemann Snabe says. “Build plans, execute and follow up in real-time to what’s going on in your business.”

Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:54 
Three new fundamental innovations on the way, Hagemann Snabe says – adding in-memory computing to make the processing of data faster. Realtime computing has been the goal of SAP since day one. “We’re moving realtime to the whole new level.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:55 
“When we first introduced in-memory … our competitors thought we were on drugs,” he said. Talking up HANNA, running on cheaper hardware and taking advantage of parallel processing.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:56 
20x faster on hardware that costs 10 per cent of the competition. “That is s 200x price performance improvement, ladies and gentlemen.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:57 
Second innovation – mobile – extend the reach of your business. “It’s the first technology that’s in everyone’s hands.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:59 
So far, mobile is a consumer play, but Hagemann Snabe argues it’s time to connect mobile to business processes.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:59 
Digitize the entire supply chain, respond faster to changes in supply or demand, sense and respond in the moment. – New Sybase platform on the way — connect to everyone in your supply chain.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:00 
Also introducing an SDK that enables SAP, partners and customers to build out the mobile story.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:01 
Third big innovation – “people-centric collaboration tools”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:01 
“Today, most of what business people do is collaborate with other people to get business done,” through mobile tools, e-mail and PowerPoint.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:02 
Hagemann Snabe’s argument — connect people to people with new applications. Not applications designed around business processes, but rather “designed around people and the unstructured processes” of business.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:02 
“This is a new application category that first needs to be integrated to business process applicaitons, needs to be mobile and needs to be analytical.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:03 
“With this kind of application, you can empower the frontline of your business.” Sense and respond your business. They can act in harmony.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:04 

“Building solutions isn’t enough,” Hagemann Snabe says. Has to make software convenient to buy and get delivery. To that end, introducing The SAP Store — a one-click approach to delivering SAP and partner apps, including on-prem and cloud-based solutions. “We have a commitment to making it easier to do business with SAP.”

Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:05 
And now for the “interview” part of the Hagemann Snabe keynote.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:07 
Q: Innovation yourself versus acquisition?
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:07 
A: No doubt it’s easier to do it by buying. The question is why do you buy? Do you buy to acquire customers (therefore no innovation) or are you buying to add a new category and innovating? “We chose the latter,” he says. “It’s harder to do, but more sustainable.” Says the main motivation for acquisition is innovation, not cost-cutting.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:08 
Looking at an Apple-like Innovation cycle — revisions every six months, new categories once a year.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:09 
Q: Is there any use for “old world” solutions?
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:09 

A: “We don’t see them as that old.” The strategy comes from the core of the product suite — the analytics. “The consistency of the core is a key element in the innovation strategy” — it doesn’t help to speed up your analytics if you’ve got bad data. “You still get a bad result, you just get it faster.”

Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:10 

Q: Where does the cloud fit in?

Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:11 
A: It’s a buzzword, but it’s very important. It’s an easy way to consumer software. You don’t have the same degree of choices, but it’s much more simple. “I think the world is moving towards simplicity in place of complexity.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:12 
Q: How are the “people-centric” applications different?
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:12 
A: Very different. For 39 years, SAP has built apps for business, where the business process is the design point. Now we need to understand people — observe salespeople and what they do. Invented these personalized applications, first of which is sales on demand.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:13 
And that takes us to a demo.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:13 
Sales on Demand — starts with a Facebook-style “newsfeed” home page, then drill down on the complete history with the customer, analysis of their business – chat with team members, etc.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:14 
Hagemann Snabe participating in the demo, drops Jim Balsillie’s name for giving him a PlayBook.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:16 
Now showing off integration between sales quotes and Sales on Demand.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:18 

Out comes McDermott to join the Q&A session.

Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:20 
Q: What does the future look like?
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:20 
Hagemann Snabe: It’s hard to predict, but you have to make a point of view on where you think it’s going, otherwise you’ll never get there.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:21 
But the best-run business of 2015 has probably digitized the entire value chain and can react more quickly. “The technology is available to day” to make it happen.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:22 
McDermott: Three steps to take now – 1) Based on new innovations (mobile, in memory) re-think your business and IT strategy. Look at the overall IT budget and think about how to free up budget to innovate. 2) Consolidate on a common platform. 3) Harness new innovations. “I put a challenge out there. Give us your toughest business scenario, and let us go to work for you.”
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:24 
And with that, McDermott and Hagemann Snabe high-five in the center of the stage, and head off. That should just about wrap up the keynotes.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:25 
And that’s that for his liveblog. More later from SAPPHIRE later today as the co-CEOs will be holding a press conference in about an hour, plus we’ll have one-on-ones with the company’s Canadian channel readership.
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:26 
Thanks for joining us for the liveblog this morning, and have a great Tuesday!
Tuesday May 17, 2011 10:26