2011: A year in review

2011 seemed to be a year where there were a number of significant global news events. While things weren’t quite so hectic in the world of SAP, there was still a fair amount to look back on:

In January, SAP posted its Q4 2010 results, and what results they were – a staggering €1.5 billion in software revenues, up 34% year-on-year. This was encouraging news for us as well as for SAP as a whole: after all, as we’ve always said, a strong SAP is best for SAP users.

In February, Gartner Highlighted five long-term trends that would affect the global enterprise software industry.  From our point of view, Business Intelligence and Supply Chain Management were the ones most likely to impact SAP users, particularly as Big Data and in-memory technologies such as HANA become more commonplace. Of course, these are both long-term trends so expect more from them in 2012!

March saw SAP announce a new road map of in-memory applications. As data gets bigger, we will inevitably need faster tools to use it properly: in-memory looks set to be vital for this.

In April, as well as royal wedding bells we heard SAP’s co-CEOs come out fighting in an FT interview. From a user’s perspective it was refreshing to see them confirm their commitment to keeping SAP an independent company, meaning less uncertainty on the fate on upcoming products and development.

In May, Forrester released figures showing that the ERP market was set to steadily grow. In particular, increasing numbers of organisations were looking to the cloud for their ERP access. However, whether this approach is right for everyone remains to be seen.

June revealed SAP’s revamped Customer Connection project for Continuous Improvement. The UK & Ireland User Group is one of four global user groups taking part in the project which should see users having much more of a voice in product development.

In July, research of User Group members showed that more than two-thirds were now using ERP 6.0. Doubtless this will grow as more users see the enhanced levels of functionality and support it can bring.

In August, some people were casting critical eyes over Business Intelligence in the cloud. While adoption may well increase, our view has always been that users should always use what’s right for them: whether that’s flying in the clouds or taking a more mixed approach.

SAP TechEd kicked off its world tour in September, beginning with Las Vegas. There was a particular focus on gamification this year, and it will be interesting to see how and if this develops as a way to encourage adoption of technology.

In October, the UK & Ireland SAP User Group announced its merger with the Business Objects User Group UK. It was a pleasure to welcome on board our BOUG colleagues and we’re looking forward to providing the best to all our members in 2012.

November brought about the 2011 UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference. Taking place in Birmingham, the conference was a rousing success: thanks again to all those who helped make it so, from volunteers to exhibitors to attendees, and we hope to see you all this year.

And so to December, when we saw SAP’s proposed acquisition of SuccessFactors. By acquiring SuccessFactors, SAP will make a strong statement of its intentions for the cloud in 2012 and beyond: it looks like we’ll be watching the skies a fair amount this year.

So, that was 2011: here’s hoping 2012 has more than its fair share of success for all of us.