SAP Q3 Results are out…..rounding up what some of the press says.

The Register in it’s typical style, suggests some challenges “SAP reassures market: Cloud is sustainable, just don’t look at our wheezing bookings

Whilst Reuters highlights below market expectations and the reassurance that Q4 will be good   “Just relax, Europe’s tech leader SAP tells investors, fourth quarter will be dynamite“.

The FT though focuses on warnings of the impact of the strength of the Euro on SAP earnings “SAP leads warnings on euro strength hit to earnings”

My POV – Q4 is always a strong quarter for any software vendor, it’s when the deals are made and the discounts applied. The underlying interest is cloud sales as a percentage of the SAP business and what impact it has on licence revenue. The 2 key questions being, firstly is SAP getting new revenue from the business that it is putting all its effort into (Cloud and HANA)? And secondly is SAP adding to the revenue base with service subscriptions? And the answer…..probably too difficult to say.


Big ROI for BI?

With the Business Intelligence tools market growing by almost 13% in 2010, and generating total revenues of over $4bn in the second half of the year alone, BI vendors might well think that they’re entering something of a golden age ( The market doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon: with the Big Data era apparently upon us and the financial climate meaning businesses need to squeeze the last drops of value out of every asset they possess it’s only natural that organisations will keep looking to BI tools to help make the most out of their resources.

At the same time, Big Data means that we will also see the BI market evolve: as well as the front-end tools themselves, organisations will need stronger back-end systems to deal with the huge amount of information required. As a result, we can expect in-memory tools such as SAP’s HANA to add to BI revenues from 2011 onwards.

However, with this growing market there is one statistic that I’d be much more interested in seeing. IDC is just the latest to show us exactly how much is being spent on BI, which is great news for the vendors. However, it would also be useful to see exactly what the return on investment of these tools is. Admittedly it may be more complicated to study, but I believe it makes a crucial difference if organisations can see this.

BI isn’t exactly going away and only very confident (for want of another word) organisations would say they can do without it entirely. Yet at the same time we need to see more information on what exactly we can expect from BI and how soon we will see a return, rather than simply how much we’re spending on it.

Meet the SAP Mentors at User Group Conference 2010

For the first time at the UG conference in UK & Ireland SAP Mentors will be there for you to meet. Who are the SAP mentors? 

SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most mentors work for customers or partners of SAP. All of them are hands-on experts of an SAP product or service, as well as excellent champions for product roll-in and roll-out. They have been nominated by their peers on the basis of their passion for the community and their willingness to contribute and share as well as motivate others

  • Hands-on expert in an SAP product or service
  • Collaborative attitude
  • Good communicator
  • Preferably working at a partner or customer of SAP
  • Interested in improving products and services of SAP as well as the relationship of SAP with its customers, partners and prospects
  • Proactive engagement

Earlybird Rate ends midnight July 9th

Conference places (as in previous years) are already selling well. You have until tomorrow night to get them at the lowest earlybird rate – don’t miss out!!

It’s time for a survey of “experts”!

Today (I know it’s supposed to be a holiday) I was reading an article from Chris Kanaracus in Business Week. Now before I start to give my view I need to be clear that Chris is the reporter here. He reports on some comment from Forrester or, more specifically John Rymer, who is stating (according to the article):

“SAP customers should still use NetWeaver to extend their SAP business applications, but avoid using it for complex, enterprisewide middleware projects, he added. “We think you ought to look at other providers,” Rymer said. “We don’t think SAP is going to step up to those requirements over the long haul.”

I thought, this is interesting and decided to check out John’s pedigree in this area – what experience has he with Netweaver? The Forrester site says the following:

 “John came to Forrester through its acquisition of Giga Information Group and has a combined total of six years with the company. He has worked as an industry analyst for more than 15 years, starting in 1989. John’s industry experience includes a stint as vice president of product marketing for IONA Technologies, where he gained first-hand experience in creating and executing market strategies.”

So John has only got what he has heard from “others” about Netweaver – what he lacks and this is the difference to user group members, is front-line experience of the product. I was glad to see that SAP refuted this position with this statement:

“NetWeaver is our platform and will be our platform going forward — and there is an incredible amount of innovation we intend to continue to bring into it”

Which, of course, is known by anyone who has used it. So this then made me question the statements of “experts” and perhaps it’s time to consider who are the experts? In my view an easy question to answer – those who use the product and strangely that is user group members, so if you want to know more about Netweaver – speak to UG members.

Talking the UK down……….

Today I have spent a few hours amongst the shoppers busily readying themselves for Christmas. It seemed as busy as last Christmas and in many ways it actually appeared busier. It certainly didn’t feel like a recession. Before I go any further I must temper this with the hard reality of all those that have lost their employment over the last 12 months. Yes things are difficult but are they as bad as some would have us believe?

I discovered this piece today on the BBC News website following an article saying that construction is up 2% year on year.

“I don’t mean to sound complacent but, while not good, things are nowhere near as bad as many in the media would have us believe.

UK Govt. debt is currently 59.2% of GDP. High, yes. But still lower than the level in all the other G7 countries BEFORE the credit crunch (source = IMF). True there was a trend of deteriorating public finances in the UK before the credit crunch and there are factors that arguably make true UK Govt. debt higher. But we are in no way in a bad position in global terms, even if certain sections of the media are hell bent convincing us otherwise (probably in order to help perpetuate their self-declared reputation for King-making in UK politics).

As for stimulus, if you look at the G7 nations plus India and China, the UK has the fourth lowest spending on its stimulus package. Only France, India and Italy have spent less. Specifically, stimulus is 1.5% of GDP for the UK compared with 4.4% of GDP for China, 4.8% for the US, 3.4% for Germany, 2.7% for Canada and 2.2% for Japan.

This means that, if it is already out of recession (or close to it), the UK will have achieved this with a lower level of stimulus and a lower risk from negative effects when the stimulus ends than most of our major global competitors.

None of this means much right now if you’ve just lost your job, obviously. But it is important for the future and I am sick of only hearing the downside.”

I couldn’t agree more – so let’s be really clear. Despite the injections into the UK economy it still has a smaller debt than any other G7 country, and we have injected less public money than most nations and our statistics are running a bit behind reality. And all this information is produced by an independent body , the IMF.

So what is going in our press?  Just like the bankers they are all about feathering their nests and are intent on talking down our nation for their own ends – come on everybody, wake up and smell the beginnings of a recovery.

Press coverage of User Group Conference (Updated)

A  fantastic conference with great speakers, great discussions and great people – some coverage below:

Silicon – Users tell SAP we need to talk more
Computer Weekly – Durex maker gets satisfaction with SAP
Computer Weekly – In bed with SAP: the future for enterprise software?
Computer Weekly – SAP user groups make ‘great progress’ working with SAP
SAPinfo – SAP UKI User Group: How innovative is SAP?
SAP user group ‘proves its worth’ it tells members
ComputerworldUK – SAP not delivering on innovation user group told 
ZDNet – SAP users start to flex their muscles
ZDNet – Fawning over Chatter and how SAP missed its chance
CIO – SAP user group ‘proves its worth’ it tells members
CIO – SAP not delivering on innovation user group told
InfoWorld – SAP not delivering on innovation user group told
Industry Standard – SAP not delivering on innovation user group told
IT News – SAP set for vital KPI announcement
YouTube – Cloudy issues: Alan Bowling SAP UK&I UG (Dennis Howlett video interview) 
Computing – SAP criticised for slow pace of innovation
V3 – SAP set for vital KPI announcement
Computer Weekly – SAP at odds with user group over prices
Computer Weekly – SAP vows to get closer to its users