SAP announces better than expected Q4 results and shuffles management team

We are just into the first few weeks of 2011 and already there have been several interesting announcements from the world of SAP.  Firstly, the company reported record fourth-quarter software revenues of €1.5bn, up 34% compared with the last quarter in 2009.  According to Co-CEO, Jim Hagemann Snabe, “this result is clear proof that focusing on innovation and customer value is the right strategy.” 

Certainly, SAP’s strong results reflect an apparent boost in the software market over the past year, as organisations look to make investments to support their economic recovery.  From a User Group perspective we have always said that a strong SAP is good news for all SAP users.  Therefore, we welcome these encouraging signs after what has certainly been a difficult couple of years for the company. 

SAP has also announced several management changes, one of which sees Franck Cohen replacing Jose Duarte as president of EMEA.  Cohen was previously COO of SAP EMEA so from an UK & Ireland users’ perspective we would like to welcome him to his new role.  A further change sees the appointment of Sanjay Poonen as president of global solutions go-to market.  This new role aligns with SAP’s strategy to bring products to market quicker than in the past. This can be seen as is a further sign of SAP trying to be more agile and collaborative when it comes to product development, both internally and externally through working with user groups globally as part of SUGEN. 

As ever, the UK & Ireland User Group will always endeavor to make sure that members are kept fully up to date with the latest developments at SAP and how these might affect their organisation.  We will also be announcing soon further details on our 2011 User Conference taking place in Birmingham, including details on our early bird rate and this year’s keynote speakers – so watch this space!

SAP in 2011

Looking forward to 2011, several pundits have predictions for the world of SAP.  We have some predictions that SAP’s Business Objects offerings have to step up a gear to match the newer BI vendors that are starting to surface, we have massive interest in the potential of HANA and how SAP will fully deliver that potential.  In these areas I believe that SAP has produced a truly disruptive set of offerings that promise a real shake up of how data is transformed instantly to useable information.  We all need to keep watching this developing area as it starts to change what can be done within our organisations.
Some analysts predict that this is a year where SAP delivers on lots of its promises, in cloud computing with Business-by-Design and HANA and will be focusing on demonstrating and gaining full acceptance of these different ways of working. To make that happen is speculation surrounding potential acquisition in these areas to supplement and speed up that delivery.
The question of Sybase comes up as well, with expectations that the aspirations to connect with the billions of mobile devices out there starts to become reality as the SAP Sybase roadmap starts to roll out.
Will all these views come true? Only SAP knows, but what is certain is that for the first time in several years SAP have a really interesting portfolio of developments rolling off the production line, nearly all of which offer some game changing opportunities. Perhaps this is a result of the increased focus that two CEO’s bring to the party – I hope so as this means even more promise as the months progress.