Jun
06
2018
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SAP latest enterprise player to offer cloud blockchain service

SAP announced today at its Sapphire customer conference it was making the SAP Leonardo Blockchain service generally available. The latter is a cloud service to help companies build applications based on digital ledger-style technology.

Gil Perez, senior vice president for product and innovation and head of digital customer initiatives at SAP, says most of the customers he talks to are still very early in the proof of concept stage, but not so early that SAP doesn’t want to provide a service to help move them along the maturity curve.

“We are announcing the general availability of the SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain Services.” This is a generalized service on top of which customers can begin building their blockchain projects. He says SAP is taking an agnostic approach to the underlying ledger technology whether it’s the open source Hyperledger project, where SAP is a platinum sponsor, MultiChain or any additional blockchain or decentralized distributed ledger technologies.

Perez said part of the reason for this flexibility is that blockchain technology is really still being defined and SAP doesn’t want to commit to any underlying ledger approach until the market decides which way to go. He says this should allow them to minimize the impact on customers as the technology evolves.

They join other enterprise companies like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon who have previously released blockchains services for their customers. For SAP, which many companies use for the back-office management of everything from finance to logistics, the blockchain could present some interesting use cases for its customers such as supply chain management.

In this case, the blockchain could help reduce paperwork, bring products to market more quickly and provide an easy audit trail. Instead of requesting a scanned copy of a signed document, you could simply click on a node on the blockchain and see the approval (or denial) and follow the products through the shipping process to the marketplace.

But Perez stresses that just because it’s early doesn’t mean they aren’t working on some pretty substantial projects. He cited one with a pharmaceutical company to ensure the provenance of drugs that involved over a billion transactions already.

SAP is simply trying to keep up with what customers want. Prior to the GA announced today, the company conducted a survey of 250 customers and found, that although it was early days, there is enterprise interest in exploring blockchain technology. Whether this initiative can expand into a broader business is hard to say, but SAP sees blockchain as logical adjacent technology to their core offerings.

Jun
05
2018
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SAP gives CRM another shot with with new cloud-based suite

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a mature market with a clear market leader in Salesforce. It has a bunch other enterprise players like Microsoft, Oracle and SAP vying for position. SAP decided to take another shot today when it released a new business products suite called SAP C/4HANA. (Ya, catchy I know.)

SAP C/4HANA pulls together several acquisitions from the last several years. It started in 2013 when it bought Hybris for around a billion dollars. That gave them a logistics tracking piece. Then last year it got Gigya for $350 million, giving them a way to track customer identity. This year it bought the final piece when it paid $2.4 billion for CallidusCloud for a configure, price quote (CPQ) piece.

SAP has taken these three pieces and packaged them together into a customer relationship management package. They see this term much more broadly than simply tracking a database of names and vital information on customers. They hope with these products to give their customers a way to provide consumer data protection, marketing, commerce, sales and customer service.

They see this approach as different, but it’s really more of what the other players are doing by packaging sales, service and marketing into a single platform. “The legacy CRM systems are all about sales; SAP C/4HANA is all about the consumer. We recognize that every part of a business needs to be focused on a single view of the consumer. When you connect all SAP applications together in an intelligent cloud suite, the demand chain directly fuels the behaviors of the supply chain,” CEO Bill McDermott said in a statement.

It’s interesting that McDermott goes after legacy CRM tools because his company has offered its share of them over the years, but its market share has been headed in the wrong direction. This new cloud-based package is designed to change that. If you can’t build it, you can buy it, and that’s what SAP has done here.

Brent Leary, owner at CRM Essentials, who has been watching this market for many years says that while SAP has a big back-office customer base in ERP, it’s going to be tough to pull customers back to SAP as a CRM provider. “I think their huge base of ERP customers provides them with an opportunity to begin making inroads, but it will be tough as mindshare for CRM/Customer Engagement has moved away from SAP,” he told TechCrunch.

He says that it will be important with this new product to find its niche in a defined market. “It will be imperative going forward for SAP find spots to “own” in the minds of corporate buyers in order to optimize their chances of success against their main competitors,” he said.

It’s obviously not going to be easy, but SAP has used its cash to buy some companies and give it another shot. Time will tell if it was money well spent.

Jan
30
2018
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SAP snags CallidusCloud for $2.4 billion

 SAP, the German enterprise software giant, announced it acquired CallidusCloud last night for $2.4 billion or $36 per share. Callidus provides configure price quote (CPQ) and sales performance management tools delivered as a cloud service. The share price is a nice bump for shareholders, representing a 21 percent premium over the 30-day volume weighted average share price, according to SAP.… Read More

Sep
24
2017
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SAP buys customer identity management firm Gigya for $350M

 SAP, the German enterprise software giant, today announced an acquisition to strengthen its hybris e-commerce division. It has acquired Gigya, a firm that helps online properties manage customer identities and profiles. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed officially, but our sources tell us it is for $350 million. This was the same figure that was reported yesterday when the news leaked… Read More

Jul
11
2017
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SAP wants to bridge the gap between IoT and business data

 SAP announced a new tool today called the Leonardo IoT Bridge designed to help bridge the gap between data coming from sensors in the field and business systems operating inside a firm.
The manufacturing sector is in the middle of a massive shift where machines are being equipped with sensors that transmit torrents of data about their health, and the environment around them, over the… Read More

Mar
08
2017
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Google announces significant partnership with SAP at Google Cloud Next Conference

 Google announced onstage today at Google Cloud Next a partnership with SAP to deliver SAP HANA, the company’s in-memory database on Google Cloud Platform. It’s a big deal for a number of reasons. First of all, it gives Google a major enterprise customer for its cloud platform, something that it’s trying to promote in big way. Secondly, it gives them an established… Read More

Feb
09
2017
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SAP adds AI and integrated analytics in latest cloud release

SAP logo on wall in company headquarters SAP is about as traditional a legacy vendor as you are likely to find, delivering complex on-prem ERP solutions for the largest organizations on the planet. But like everyone else, SAP sees a future in which companies rely less on software installed in private data centers and more on public cloud products to handle the heavy lifting for them. And SAP S/4HANA, the company’s public… Read More

Aug
07
2016
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HR 2.0 is the poster child for the next wave of SaaS innovation

shutterstock_157573751 The path for SaaS domination of a market segment has historically followed one of two routes: bringing previously offline workflows online, or moving on-premise software processes online. In short, SaaS would take over segments that previously were not SaaSified. Yet, the current wave of HR SaaS innovators the past few years is proving that there can be more to the story. Read More

Jul
20
2016
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SAP beats analysts’ expectations, reports “record-setting” revenue and profit

Bill McDermott, chief executive officer of SAP AG, poses for a photograph during the software company's annual general meeting in Mannheim, Germany, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. McDermott, who becomes the German company's sole chief executive officer today, is counting on the leadership change to speed decision-making at the software maker trying to accelerate growth. Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg via Getty Images German IT services and enterprise giant SAP reported encouraging numbers for Q2 2016, beating analysts’ expectations and spiking its share price by nearly five percent in pre-market trading Wednesday as its non-IFRS EPS increased 2 percent to €0.82 ($0.90). Analysts had predicted a quarterly EPS of $0.78. The leap is owed in part to the strength of the company’s… Read More

May
17
2016
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Microsoft and SAP love grows stronger in the cloud

SAP extreme sailing in Singapore. Microsoft and SAP have been pals for years and years, and today at the SAP Sapphire Now customer conference in Orlando, the two company CEOs, Satya Nadella and Bill McDermott announced they were taking the relationship to another level with deeper cloud integrations between the two companies. The deal will enable SAP customers to run HANA, the company’s in-memory database product … Read More

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