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.

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Maximising the value from your IT investments

The recent Budget highlighted that that we are still in somewhat uncertain economic times, yet it was encouraging to hear the Chancellor George Osbourne talk about making the UK Europe’s technology centre.  With this in mind, it is clear now more than ever that organisations need to maximise the value from their IT investments and continue to look to innovate.

In an age where operational efficiency is becoming increasingly important, it surely makes business sense for similar organisations across industry sectors to speak to each other and take a more collaborative approach when it comes to their use of IT.  By doing this, organisations can become more efficient, solve common problems and begin to yield greater influence with IT vendors when it comes to future product roadmaps.

Here at the User Group we have seen countless examples of organisations from different industry sectors collaborating to come up with workable, and often, cost-effective solutions.  Take for example Yorkshire Water. When it was looking to configure its SAP software so it could offer an employee salary sacrifice scheme, it began speaking to other companies who had looked into the legislation and created their own solutions. As a result, Yorkshire Water was able to come up with a working solution in-house, rather than having to pay for a costly external consultant to help with the work.

Irrespective of your industry sector, user groups can play an important role in fostering collaboration and providing a channel to influence IT vendors at the highest level. So at a time when IT budgets are shrinking but at the same time business demands are on the increase, the term ‘it’s good to talk’ has never been more pertinent.

Networking and collaboration will again be key elements of this year’s annual User Group conference, so please visit the conference site or follow us on Twitter (@SAPUserConf) for all the latest news

Only 18 days until the conference

It is only 18 days to go until our annual conference – so you don’t have much time to book a place. Don’t delay – with hundreds of organisations present and with some organisations registering more than 20 attendees you can see it is popular.

With Steve Cram, Ray Wang, Oliver Bussman, Timo Elliot, and Steve Winter as Keynote speakers plus 8o exhibitors, multiple streams, many networking opportunities, including the welcome reception on Sunday and the Gala Dinner on Monday it really is a value for money event.

The good news is that there are still some spaces left so go to the conference website to register:

www.sapusers.org/conference2011

 

 

Final Chance for early bird rates for Conference

There are only two weeks left for early bird rates for the User Group Annual Conference so you need to act quickly – also if your suppliers are exhibiting there may be discounts that you can get through exhibitor codes that they can supply you.

The line up is nearly complete and we have large numbers of speakers, exhibitors and delegates ready to go, so get your places booked now.

www.sapusers.org/conference2011

 

SAP announce roadmap for on-premise (Business Suite)

Today SAP announced the following:

http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/press/newsroom/press-releases/press.epx?pressid=17590

For the first time all the User Groups in SUGEN were given early warning of this announcement, which is further evidence of SAP listening to the customers – my take on the announcement:

– For some time we have been saying we need transparency over a longer window so that we can plan our business first and then solutions to support them second. This announcement shows they have heard that message.

– We have also spoken many times about business disruption and diversion that system change/upgrade can give – this approach reduces that for us.

– We often want bits of innovation, not all of it, our appetite and pockets can’t support all of it. This solution also lets us be selective, gives us choice, something we all have been asking about.

– Cloud, mobile and/or HANA, not a problem – I will be able to take advantage of these.

As ever the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but on first pass this looks all in the right direction.

 

 

 

BI in the cloud: pipe dream or inevitability?

While cloud computing is being viewed as the next big step in computing, not everyone thinks it will be perfect for everything. For example, here’s one view on why Business Intelligence might not work: http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/saas/business-intelligence/1359/business-intelligence-%E2%80%98lags-behind%E2%80%99-cloud.

Of course, a venture capitalist is going to have a slightly different view to a user. Over the last few years we have seen a number of ERP functions move to the cloud and it is likely that Business Intelligence will follow. When looking at a cloud-based implementation, there are a number of potential benefits. User organisations can implement the exact level of BI that they need, whether putting in a limited implementation using BI as a Service or disseminating BI across a widespread workforce using a private cloud. At the same time the computing horsepower needed to actually implement BI in the age of Big Data is much easier to justify if it is centralised, either as part of a large-scale private cloud project or with a service provider.

The idea of Big Data could start to push many organisations towards BI in the cloud: especially as the costs and complexity involved in allowing such data to be stored, accessed and investigated anywhere it’s needed don’t lend themselves to an on-premise solution. Given that the arrival of Big Data seems inevitable, it may well be that BI over the cloud is less a matter or “if” and more a matter of “when”.

As with any ERP function cloud-based BI may not be for everyone, while others may prefer to take a mixed approach: keeping some BI in-house and saving the cloud for the biggest of Big Data. The topics of BI and the cloud will again be in key focus at this year’s annual User Group Conference. If you are looking for advice and wanting to network with other SAP users make sure to register for this year’s event at http://www.sapusers.org/conference2011/.

 

Why would you pay £1299 for an SAP related event when you can pay £500 or less for ours?

Other SAP and Business Objects related events in the UK & Ireland cost more than ours. That’s a fact! Compared to another event in October…..in fact it doesn’t stop there! Ours has better speakers. Actually 7 times more speakers, and 4 times more streams, and runs over 2 and half days not 2 days.  It covers much more in terms of topics and is the best place to network of all the SAP events in the UK & Ireland, and includes a gala dinner for that very reason.

So if you want value, treasure an independent view of all things SAP, and need to learn and improve your SAP network, don’t waste money and spend it where it counts.

See our conference website for details.