The Analyst Cam: RISE with SAP

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As we have moved to virtual vendor briefings, I have increasingly been excerpting short segments (with permission from vendors), as part of my Analyst Cam series.

I explained here  I have been trying to fit the many Analyst Cam episodes – vendor demos, analyst surveys, excerpts from vendor events – into a 20 to 30  minute format. Events have been the hardest to force -fit. It is tough to excerpt from hours of sessions into 20 minutes. Vendors need permissions from customers. Events folks are exhausted and the last thing they want to do is get me many GB of video.

Still, I persist and I requested SAP share video from their RISE with SAP session this week. They delivered the videos promptly but they deleted customer and partner sections from the CEO Christian Klein keynote (likely due to permission issues). They shared the Q&A with Christian, but I decided to let the Christian keynote dominate the 20 minute excerpt below.

Christian’s fluency with the broad SAP portfolio is nothing short of brilliant. I remember seeing a Thomas Kurian presentation when he was at Oracle which was as impressive. Enjoy his mastery of the “Business Transformation-as-a-service” offering below.

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In addition, I would recommend you spend some time on a few other sessions during the day, particularly the sections I highlight in them:

Thomas Saueressig of SAP talks changing business models, sustainability and many other global trends with Gabriela Azzali, Chief Transformation Officer, Orica and Ulrich Stoerk, Chairman of the Management Board, PwC Germany here

Juergen Mueller of SAP does a deep dive around the Business Technology Platform and involves Damian Bunyan, CIO, Uniperand Liz Fasciana, Global SAP Offering Leader, Deloitte Consulting here

The Business Process Intelligence section with Rouen Morato of SAP and with Gero Decker of Signavio, that SAP announced it is acquiring starts at 8.15 here

The customer sections in  Christian’s keynote with Dr. Roland Busch, Deputy CEO, Siemens and with Jodi Monelle, Founder and CEO and Kees Kruythoff, Chairman and CEO of LIVEKINDLY are at 8.15 here

The section about Collaboration and integration of MS Teams with Satya Natella, CEO of Microsoft is at 31.30 here

The complexity of the offering led to a number of questions. Here is the Q&A with Christian. Disclosure – none of the questions are mine, certainly not the one which asked “aren’t you a bit late to the party?” With a young baby and a demanding CEO role, I doubt he has energy left to go to many parties 🙂

I will be sharing my analysis from the day over the next couple of weeks and in a couple of Burning Platform sessions with other analysts. But here is a quick take:

a) I am pleased to see so much focus on the public cloud. Just about two years ago, I told Christian I was worried how many S/4 projects were on-prem and in private clouds. I told him he risked a repeat of ECC overruns. Worse, it would be difficult to apply ML concepts with data siloed across so many data centers

b) I understand why he had to highlight all his SI partners – but with the pandemic and travel restrictions they have been learning to do virtual projects and use more tooling and automation. I wish he had focused on how they have evolved. SAP and its customers cannot afford the old way of doing projects.

c) One of the biggest payback areas in justifying a move to S/4 is retirement of ECC customizations. I fear the BPI/Signavio tools and the army of SIs will get the green signal to launch another large wave of customizations, this time bloating S/4.

d) During the pandemic we have seen a move to bite-sized projects like the SAP Amplify initiative and in vertical “edge” areas – like telemedicine in healthcare, digital real estate, distance learning in higher education, automated fulfillment in retail and many others. What SAP presented was mostly horizontal processes and far from “bite-sized”

e) The contracting for RISE appears very ambitious. While that is good business for advisers like Deal Architect, no business executive enjoys months of negotiations when they are under extreme pressure to get their digital projects going.

For now enjoy the brilliance from Christian, Thomas, Juergen and others. Nobody would accuse them of being small thinkers.

(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)