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Podcast: SAP's slow evolution into an IT platform company

SAP's roadmap for meeting the needs of today's enterprise customers -- including a focus on IT platforms -- holds risks and rewards, says one expert.

SAP is undergoing rapid changes to meet the shifting needs of enterprise software customers for everything from mobility to the cloud, according to analyst and diginomica.com co-founder Jon Reed. Its recent strategy demonstrates a deep emphasis on providing IT platforms, not just ERP applications like in the past.

"I think it's going to be a very different company five years from now," Reed said. "Part of what SAP has to do is convince customers that SAP is the best choice for a platform, not just to build applications but to integrate a diverse set of cloud applications."

Reed added the caveat that this vision is subject to change, however. "I think that some of it depends on if the leadership in place stays in place and is empowered to progress forward."

In this wide-ranging podcast, Reed looks at SAP's evolution over the years, including its acquisition strategy, and what these changes mean for SAP's customers -- as well as the vendor itself -- in terms of risks and rewards.

This list outlines the topics Reed covers, as well as where in the podcast he discusses them:

  • 00:08: How different SAP is now, compared with five or 10 years ago, and where it's headed
  • 01:58: How SAP's current situation mirrors Gartner's "nexus of forces"
  • 04:08: SAP customers' need for a more agile, "pay as you go" approache
  • 04:56: Whether SAP's acquisitions are helping the company create a comprehensive portfolio or diluting its core strength
  • 10:38: Where SAP's strategy is strongest
  • 12:00: Where SAP's strategy is weakest
  • 15:46: The evolution of SAP HANA into an IT platform
  • 19:44 SAP customer perceptions
  • 23:30 What SAP will look like in the future


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