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ORLANDO -- SAP kicked its annual Sapphire Now user conference into gear Tuesday morning by telling thousands in attendance that it was a "new" company focused on making enterprise IT landscapes far simpler than they had been in the past through new cloud, in-memory, and user interface technologies.
Were people buying it?
Attendees here in Orlando had mixed reactions of CEO Bill McDermott's speech. Some applauded a more focused keynote than years past, but others were less impressed, given SAP's reputation for complex deployments.
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"I almost hated the keynote. That's a really strong word but I really did not like it," said analyst and diginomica.com co-founder Jon Reed. "I just don't think that 'simplicity' is a message I would take seriously coming from SAP as far as a leadership position. I don't think customers look to SAP for simplicity."
Reed added that even SAP Fiori, a line of SAP apps with a device-agnostic user interface (UI), is not simple by any means.
"Even Fiori, which is a great UI, is not easy to install and maintain," he said. "So I don't think simplicity is a great, resonant message."
In this video, SeachSAP.com editors, along with Reed look at whether SAP's claims of simplicity rang true, as well as run down the other news coming out of Orlando. Those announcements include SAP's decision to provide SAP Fiori free along with corresponding software purchases, and the release of SAP Simple Finance, a portfolio of HANA-enabled applications that the company says have been streamlined for more efficient financial management.