Global CIO: SAP Transformed: From Stuffy ERP To Real-Time iPad Analytics - InformationWeek

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1/26/2011
05:50 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: SAP Transformed: From Stuffy ERP To Real-Time iPad Analytics

Citing impressive across-the-board results, SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott says new strategies and platforms will drive more growth in 2011.

In any context, SAP's fourth quarter was a memorable one: revenue up 25% with strong contributions from all product lines, all geographies, industry verticals, and customer size.

That aggressive close capped off a tumultuous year for the world's largest enterprise-software company that began with the ouster of one CEO and the appointment of two new ones who have overhauled why the company develops products, how the company develops products, how it engages with customers, how it presents itself to the world, and how it defines the value it delivers to more than 100,000 SAP customers across the globe.

Last year also saw SAP come to grips with what we could call a legacy legal issue stemming from several years ago and related to the theft of Oracle intellectual property, for which the SAP of today has been ordered to pay $1.3 billion.

It's impossible to dream up any more galling expenditure for SAP to have to shoulder—and the company is hoping to have that penalty reduced—but whatever the final total, SAP would surely rather be investing it in new products than in Oracle's profit column.

That hurdle aside, though, and almost exactly one year after the ouster of former CEO Leo Apotheker and the appointment of co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP finds itself with enormous momentum behind it.

And that momentum has been propelled by and made possible by the dramatic overhaul of the company in the past 12 months by McDermott and Hagemann Snabe, the result of which is that SAP is now able to lead with the innovative and business-driven products and concepts of tomorrow, instead of just by trying to push the wilting ideas of yesterday and today.

Here are five reasons why I think SAP's ready for a breakthrough year in 2011:

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