Hidden Innovation at SAP

A bit of a ramble below, but my 3-year-old is up from nap and I better hit “Publish!”

Vinnie at New Florence has some interesting comments on some of the “hidden” work happening at SAP Research (here).  Even though I’m not as close to SAP R&BI as I have been, there is some fascinating stuff in the works.  As he says, we’ve traditionally focused on the game changers, but as Craig notes in his comment, we’re moving in the right direction (collaborating across functions, locations, etc.).

This isn’t new, though.  Even in the R/3 days, the field consistently collaborated with customers and development to add a lot of incremental IP to the product and its implementation methodology (which was all shared with the broader ecosystem).

Vinnie’s last paragraph is very perceptive, and hints at the GTM and execution challenges of these “long tail” innovations: highlighting these points of innovation in front of the right audience.  We can’t show everyone everything, which is pretty daunting (and ultimately ineffective).   SAP is scaling down from the old ERP deal framework to more of an emphasis on micro-marketing and micro-deals, but we’re a ways from having it all down pat.

To that end, my team is operationalizing delivery model innovations to support these new deal structures and project types.  We’re also systematizing our KM approach to close some of the loops that have opened up since the R/3 days (e.g., PM KM, which I’ve blogged about a number of times). 


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