New Spending Plans?

I thought it would be useful to put up a poll so that there could be a comparison of spending plans this year – so here it is. Very simple and straightforward.



Sapphire cancelled or changed?

Apparently Sapphire  in May has been cancelled to be replaced by a series of more local to each country market events. I have a few thoughts on this.

Firstly from a “green” point of view taking the message to the masses rather than the masses to the message  is actually a far more responsible way of working.

Secondly smaller gatherings may encourage a two way dialogue which can sadly be lacking at these mega events.

Finally this decision would be wise given the travel restrictions which are being placed on staff at many companies. A local car journey (in Europe) will be tolerated but the cost of overnight stays accompanied with flight costs may well preclude attendees.

Overall this is (probably) a wise change.

Enterprise support needed?

Dennis Howlett in his irregular enterprise blog suggests that all is not well in the land of the big software enterprises. He highlights a chart indicating demand by module for SAP. He also highlights that salaries are holding up and that is no surprise. The number of skill sets required is still high and lot of this has to do with previously initiated upgrades, which take a while to plan and execute. The speed of decline in the economy has eclipsed the speed in the decline of these type of projects and the same applies to new implementations. In my view the real test will be the number of new sales and upgrades commencing in the next two quarters.

I have to admit to being slightly perplexed by the meaning of the graph shown , as the take up of the modules is really related to the industry sector that is undertaking the work.  Yes it shows a decline but that appears to have started in 2007 – so I guess the question then is what is SAP selling, because it has been selling growing numbers to this point. Without going through the sales figures in annual reports it would seem pretty logical to suggest then that the real sales have been in the SME sector where the work is undertaken by roving teams and generates very little additional demand. This absolutely applies to SAP Business One which I guess is the main part of the SME zone. As ever treat statistics with caution!

On the IBM front – it is interesting. The point I would raise is that you rarely if ever see the numbers of IBMers changing mentioned in the press. I have a sneaking suspicion that is this due to how they are employed, with a large balance of contractors employed who when the number are reduced do not directly appear as IBM job losses.

I certainly agree with Dennis on the high degree of uncertainty out there. The only logical course of action is to remain agile, take bold decisions and plan for any eventuality!

Further debate around Satyam

Strange things have happened at Satyam over the past few weeks, and stranger things continue to grow. According to the Economic Times of India current employees are preparing themselves to go it alone if the company doesn’t survive. Apparently discussions have taken place with some existing clients, and given that nearly half of the income of Satyam comes from supporting ERP solutions there’s a fair chance that some of this may be SAP related.

Many employees are allegedly getting ready to jump ship to rival employers.

The depths and extent of the dealingsby the former chief of Satyam also seem to slide to new levels, with allegations of fake salary accounts and the involvement of up to 6 senior managers.

Meanwhile a whole series of suitors are queuing up to squabble over the best bits of the organisation – with even SAP quoted as keeping a watching brief.