Large Enterprise On Demand comes to SAP

Most of my 2007 was spent working on the foundation of SAP’s large enterprise on demand strategy, so it was gratifying to that John Wookey was brought on to lead the effort.  His mission will be to organize SAP’s on-demand product road map for large enterprise customers under a single strategy.  It is always nice to see something concrete come out of one’s work!

I had heard the rumors for a while, but confirmation just came last week.  Josh Greenbaum’s take (here) is as good as any I’ve seen.  I like that he redirects folks away from the technical challenges of the cloud — which are real, but trivial (in the technical sense of “hard, but knowable and solvable”).  My take parallels Josh’s: the product portfolio challenges will be the hard bits.

The most telling section of Josh’s piece has nothing to do with On Demand/SaaS per se.  For me, the Wookey “acquisition” is a signal about SAP’s optimism about the future.  The current cost-control measures get the headlines, but:

SAP clearly sees that there’s no time like the present to invest in the future, and bringing John Wookey on board is a remarkable vote for future success that SAP is willing to make at what otherwise might look like a pretty bleak hour for the global economy. 

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