My SAPPHIRE NOW 2021 wish list
SAPPHIRE NOW is going to be presented in a different format this year, starting with a global keynote followed by regional follow-up events. All virtual, all free. The agenda is not published yet, so we do not know what message SAP wants to communicate. For sure, it will be very business related: that SAP RISE is a success, that SAP helps customers during COVID-19 times (run better), that the intelligent enterprise is the best you can use, that the cloud is growing stronger than ever and helps everyone in performing better: customers, partners, climate, world. This is business as usual and there is going to be a watch party from Stammtisch Baden to discuss the news.
As always, it is interesting to see what will be discussed in detail, what is announced in a rash and what will be ignored. Priorities differ, and what SAP will talk about is their top priority. I do have my own topics I’d like the see addressed during the event series. My point of view is different, mainly from a partner with strong customer focus that works day to day in SAP projects. If you follow my blogs you get a good idea where the focus of my topics is: architecting and delivering SAP centric solutions.
Here is my personal list of topics and more importantly, commitments I would like to hear from SAP.
- Free tier for BTP. Months passed since I started the free tier discussion, and SAP did not deliver much. Some news was shared at TechEd, DSAG TT, SCN community presentation, but nothing real was announced. So far, all SAP announced was: “we are working on it”. Assuming that SAP was already working on that topic before my blog, SAP has to deliver: roadmap, dates, scope, architecture.
- BAP (Business Application Platform). With the transition from SCP to BTP, SAP needs to put the business in its platform. As BTP is technical and under the CTO area, the other board areas need to deliver apps on top of BTP and transform it further into a business application platform. And not to just serve as a cloud-based entry point to a S/4HANA system. Offer real e2e business apps in the cloud.
- SAP RISE. It took SAP one year to finalize RISE, yet when announced, many aspects were not finished, missing, maybe confusing and some simply not correctly communicated. It is not the best kept secret that much effort was put on including SAP sales in RISE, instead of putting more energy on customers and partners. Adjusting RISE is needed and for sure will be part of SAPPHIRE NOW. Additional SAP services must be added, the offering better explained and smaller partners included.
- SAP as a real cloud company. Cloud services have to sell themselves. How about reducing SAP sales workforce by 50%? This will put pressure on the usability of SAP services and how users can consume them in their solutions. To close the gap, partners can jump in. Most of the time they already have a better relationship with customers and their interest is to keep the customer happy, especially for smaller partners. Side effect: this works nicely together with SAP RISE.
- No-code: Clarification on strategy and portfolio. What happens to Ruum, AppGyver and MDK? How will these work together with other low code tools already used by customers? Maybe announce a partnership with other low code providers like Microsoft or Simplifier? SAP is somewhat late to the low-code game, however this should not be a future problem for customers that were faster.
- Learning. Don’t treat learning as a cash cow. Learning is an enabler that drives future usage. As an investment into the future, it must be the reference for learning: accessible to up-to-date content, complete learning offering for all roles. Free to start with the option to pay for advanced learning resources like system access or trainer.
- Feedback. Establish a culture where feedback is actively sought after. Public roadmaps with capability to add feature requests (like on GitHub). Open discussion with customers, partners, SAP teams and the people that write the software. No more pointing to a complex, closed feedback process where solely SAP decides. We are not supplicants.
- Portfolio cleanup. SAP’s marketing term for 2020+ is intelligent enterprise. IoT solutions were merged into this term. Yet, when you search for IoT solutions, SAP is not playing a role. The whole marketing with SAP Leonardo did not establish SAP as a player in this market. While at the same time SAP customers are investing into intelligent solutions. Same for AI, or RPA. Either push it and have competitive solutions in the portfolio or remove it.
- SAP mobile apps: Deliver on mobile what customers want. Mobile apps for business users (e.g. workflow), all Fiori apps on mobile with at least push and offline functionality. Fiori Launchpad with full web and app support via PWA.
- SAP HANA. Will it stay as the database for SAP solutions? Looking back at the plans SAP had for HANA, there is not much left. Currently it is a database with a strong focus on S/4HANA and SAP Analytics? What are the plans? Why not offer an umbrella name (HANA) and several engines are added to it over the years? This would allow to run cloud apps on HANA with a low resource consumption, making it possible run it cost efficiently.
- ERP 6 EHP9. This is self-explaining.
- Prolonged support for S/4HANA. I’d like to see the standard support for S/4HANA prolonged by at least 2 years.
- HCM for S/4HANA. DSAG convinced SAP to integrate HCM in S/4HANA. An update on this offering from the top would be nice.
- Customer Experience. With Qualtrics “gone”, what now? I do not see much effort from SAP into getting Qualtrics integrated into SAP solutions. What is SAP’s plan now?
(The list is not following a specific order, the numbering is just for referencing each item)
I don’t have much hope that the points above will be addressed. As said, it’s SAP’s show. Maybe it gets people to think or to address one topic in some other way. In case you are missing something important, feel free to write a comment or reach out via Twitter and I’ll see if I add your item.