“Uber” Automate your SAP Landscape

There is a huge opportunity to modernize the legacy platforms that SAP customers are running on in order to: lower overall costs, increase agility, reduce risk, and free up funds for innovation to help customers gain competitive advantages in their respective industries.

In previous blog posts I outlined my thoughts on a Private Cloud for SAP strategy to accomplish these goals. Key foundations of this strategy are leveraging x86, VMware Virtualization and driving Automation and Orchestration in your SAP landscapes.

In recent keynotes, I have heard SAP executives tell the story about “why does it takes 35 clicks to order a new laptop from the company that you work for, yet it only takes 3 clicks on your mobile phone to order a pizza from Papa John’s”. Clearly there is an opportunity to improve business processes and drive automation in many aspects of businesses including IT organizations.

In the last few months I have starting to use “Uber” (“Everyone’s Private Driver”) for car services in my home town as well as on business trips. For those who don’t know Uber, they have an absolutely brilliant business model leveraging existing executive car services empowering them with technology that benefit the drives with higher utilization rate, the customers – with a reliable, easy to use and friendly customer experience and of course Uber (the company). When you have the Uber app on your iPhone, it literally only takes 1 click to order a car service, get picked up and dropped off, and payments are automatically taken care of. Your Uber profile works with the GPS on your phone and your pre-populated credit card info in the app…stepping out of the car to get dropped off without having to sign anything feels a bit odd the first few times, but then you come to appreciate the simplicity of the experience.

Papa John’s took our end user customer experience from 35 clicks to 3…Uber just elevated the Automation to 1 click. Can we do the same in the Automation and Orchestration of our SAP landscapes? Certainly there are policies and compliance requirements, which have to be followed when provisioning applications and infrastructure resources around SAP, however what if we were able to “Uber Simplify” these tasks? Perhaps we would be accelerating the paradigm of our SAP customers, thus allowing them to spend more budget on Innovation vs keeping the “lights on”?

I am very interested to see the progress of SAP Application and Infrastructure Automation solutions such as SAP’s NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management (LVM), VCE’s Vision, Cisco Intelligent Automation, EMC’s ViPR (Software-Defined Platform Strategy), VMware’s vCloud portfolio etc. to achieve these goals.

Let’s set a goal to “Uber Automate” our SAP customers’ application and infrastructure environments!

Top 11 items I am fired up about for SAP Sapphire in Orlando this week

Sapphire Image new

In no particular order…

1. SAP Partner Summit, which I am at right now to hear the direction of SAP from a partner perspective, especially with recent disruptive technology announcements of HANA Suite, HEC (HANA Enterprise Cloud), etc.

2. SAP presenting HFOBD (Human Face of Big Data) story at an exclusive event tonight at 6.30 pm – Steve Lucas SAP EVP & Rick Smolan are presenting the HFOBD project which is very interesting considering EMC was one of the founding sponsors of this project. Perhaps this is another area of “glue” between SAP and EMC that will accelerate this week (?)

3. Customer meetings while at Sapphire AND the # of customer meetings (8 as of now) you can fit over 3-4 days. I look forward to asking questions, listening, sharing our strategy and sharing my views on how we can better align around our SAP customer’s goals and initiatives.

4. SAP Ecosystem Partner meetings with SIs, SPs, and Boutique consulting firms (7 as of now) to better understand how we can work together in the SAP Ecosystem to Co-Innovate faster for our joint customers. Just had the fortune to have lunch with Alexander Zeier of Accenture who is one of the original founders of HANA with Hasso Platner and also co-author of “In-Memory Data Management” by Plattner – Zeier. Need to get a copy signed by my new friend Alexander.
Alezander Zeier Sapphire 2013

5. Meetings and interactions with SAP including all the SAP Mentors. I am fortunate to have many good friends at SAP who have helped me tremendously in navigating the inner SAP circle as well as the partner ecosystem. Always look forward to spending some quality time with some of these guys who I view as some of the top innovators and thought leaders in the industry.

6. SAP Executive Keynotes: Bill McDermott (co-CEO), my Danish/Swedish friend Jim Hagemann Snabe (Co-CEO), Vishal Sikka (CTO) and Hasso Plattner (Founder and head of the Board). The SAP Sapphire keynotes are always entertaining and Grande. Last year they started with Actor Gabriel Byrne giving a 15 mins SAP Strategy and value prop. Who doesn’t like a top actor from one of the best movies of all time (Usual Suspects) kicking off a corporate keynote?!
I also sent a message to Jim Hagemann Snabe to see if he is open for a 10 mins Danish/Swedish “Kaffe rast” (Scandinavian Coffee moment)…doubt that he has time. But who knows 🙂

7. Our friends Dave Vellante & John Furrier from Wikibon, SiliconAngle TV, the Cube are here. We got some time with them in the Cube on Tuesday afternoon – I love these guys; they deliver news and information in “Real Time” (just like HANA). These guys make me think of one of my favorite quotes (I believe it came from Bill McDermott): “Make the news…don’t report the news”

8. A ton of EMC, EMC IT, VCE, VMware, Cisco and Partner Presentations going on the whole week in theater format, micro forums as well in various booth locations. Way too many to mention however, if you are interested, the ones I am involved in are Wednesday at Noon in the Partner Theater around Private Cloud for SAP & Thursday at 4 pm at VMware’s booth around Why VMware + EMC for SAP

9. Evening events! Between Customer dinners and partner evening events, the schedule could not be more filled up. I will probably hit the following events this week: Partner Summit Reception (Mon), HFOBD Reception (Mon), Optimal Solutions (Mon), Wipro (Tues), Secure24/EMC/Sparta Consulting (Tues), Microsoft (Tues), CapGemini (Wed), CSC/EMC (Wed), Deloitte/EMC (Wed). We will also need some sleep somewhere in between these events and the morning keynotes!!

10. Social Media Action with Twitter, LinkedIn, Sap Community Network (SCN), Blogs, Everything SAP at EMC etc. The SAP Ecosystem are professionals at social media. They practically live on Twitter (especially the SAP Mentors). Expect to see some Tweets using #SAPP2P (Partner Summit) and #Sapphirenow (for the main event) combined with #EMC, VCE and so on. Feel free to join the Twitteracci fun with us. Rumor has it @sylvie75016 & @cstreubert came prepared for major battle 🙂

11. Vblock for SAP users Group Thursday at 5.30 pm at the Peabody. In 2013 if you are NOT deploying a Private Cloud for SAP (On Premise or Off Premise with a Service Provider) to reduce your current TCO, my prediction is that you will fall in the innovation curve for the ability to be more Agile…reacting and moving at the pace that the business comes to expect in order to have a competitive edge.

P.S. Rumor also has it that EMC EVP & CMO, Jeremy Burton will be here for the SAP CMO Forum on Wednesday. That would very cool. Lets bring out some Transformation Mojo from EMC World!!

GAME ON!!!

Getting Inspired and “Transformed” at EMC World while preparing for SAP Sapphire next week

Having a ton of fun at EMC World 2013 in Las Vegas having great conversations with customers, partners and internal EMCers, many of which are “change agents” in the SAP Ecosystem and make an impact for all. Not only am I seeing how our SAP customers and partners looking for new ways to Transform, but also how EMC is stepping up to help customers truly “Lead Your Transformation” which is the theme of the conference!
Had an opportunity to present our SAP Cloud & HANA strategy at the Global Partner Summit on Monday afternoon followed by conversations with those partners on their SAP business, which was very cool!
Also had an opportunity to chat with John Furrier & Dave Vellante on the Cube Tuesday afternoon about topics that I am very passionate about including finding new innovative ways to enage and aligning with customers & partners in the SAP Ecosystem as well as leverage Social for collaboration. We talked about the impact of SAP Week at EMC’s EBC over the last few weeks, how we have change the model from pitching our SAP customers products a few years back to discussing and collaborating with our SAP clients using customer-to-customer engagement models to focus on HOW EMC Solutions can help our SAP customers solve their Application and Infrastructure challenges and requirements as their Transforming their SAP environments. Also spoke about the idea we came up with during dinner with Mike Harding (SAP Architect on EMC IT Project Propel) about having him document EMC IT’s HANA journey on twitter using the @putitonHANA twitter handle. Just a brilliant new way of communicating valuable information to the Ecosystem. We need to be doing more cool things like that! 🙂
Check out the Cube video for more here…

I am now Inspired to head to SAP Sapphire next week in Orlando to continue my own Transformation journey as well as contuning contributing to the journey of our SAP ecosytem customers and partners!
But before that…Bruno Mars is rocking the house tonight at EMC World 🙂

This has to be another EMC record…April 11th 2013

Growing up in Stockholm Sweden I don’t think I ever heard the phrase “Go big or go home”. Perhaps it was somewhere along my journey in competitive tennis playing in college for the Wildcats that I became familiar with the phrase.

One of our goals is to be more relevant to our SAP customers, Ecosystem partners and internal EMCers in every conversation we have. By sponsoring and speaking at 4 different SAP related events globally in one day: April 11th, hopefully we get closer of achieving this goal. It also must be an EMC record! Perhaps even a SAP record of having a partner sponsoring and hosting SAP customer in 4 different locations (?). I need to check with my SAP marketing friends on this. Either way…Pretty cool 🙂

EMC is a sponsor and speaker at the SAP Cloud & Virtualization Week 2013 (#SAPvWeek) – April (9th-) 11th at SAP Labs in Palo Alto

EMC is a sponsor and speaker at the SAP High Tech Forum, April 11th at EMC Hopkinton, MA Briefing Center

EMC is a sponsor at the SAP Media Innovation Day April 11th in Universal City, CA

EMC is hosting customers at the SAP Week briefing event in Sydney, Australia on April 11th with speakers from SAP, EMC, VMware, VCE and Cisco

We are also passionate about our current ability to be relevant to our SAP customers around Cloud and Big Data including HANA. Last week I was fortune to hear one of Steve Lucas’ SAP keynote’s talking about SAP’s ability to help customers “innovate” and “move faster”. He also made the statement that the only way this can be achieved is to reduce the TCO on current SAP deployments in order to free up budget to deploy solutions like HANA, mobility, social solutions etc. With EMC and VCE’s current solutions portfolio, I don’t think we have ever been in a better position to help our current and future SAP customers achieve these goals and align closely with SAP’s strategy around Cloud and HANA. Take for example EMC IT’s transformation which displays incredible metrics and proof points on these topics. Check out these results published today in EMC Corporation IT Performance Report
If you attend one of the SAP events today on April 11th then you will get a preview on how we can accomplish this together!

What’s the next record we can break? Perhaps the # of days in my SAP runs better on EMC & VCE social media twitter campaign!

Getting Inspired at SAP FKOM in Las Vegas last week

Not only did SAP finish 2012 with a big bang, last week at FKOM they also walked through a 2013 strategy, updated solutions portfolio and sales energy going into 2013 which was beyond anything I have seen in the past. I was inspired by the positive energy at the event…and of course by catching up with some good friends in the SAP ecosystem with whom I very much hanging out.
It’s incredible to watch how fast SAP moves and strives to drive innovation for their customers to transform their organizations. Of course there is the desire to sell more software licensing, however, it is crystal clear that an SAP account team is measured on delivering customer value. In my opinion the only way to do this is to first invest in understanding their customers businesses in various industry verticals and then leverage vehicles like Design Thinking and Value Engineering to help customers transform. SAP sales leaders urged their sales teams to find ways to use “Co-Innovation to help customers meet their aspirations”.

The overall GTM strategy is also crystal clear: HANA (…and HANA & HANA :)), Cloud and Mobile

Rob Enslin and Vishal Sikka walked through very large HANA customer wins and unique use cases that are changing the way companies do business. The Jan 10th Business Suite on HANA announcement was also a massive step forward in SAP’s HANA strategy which many of us are still trying to wrap our arms around to understand how In-Memory computing will transform how customers run both OLAP and OLTP on the same platform. It’s very interesting to see SAP offer SAP ASE included in a purchase of business suite…like John Appleby states “2013 – the year of the SAP Database”. Vishal also said that seeing Business Suite on HANA announced was in his mind compared to “Walt Disney one day in the past drawing a mouse and then seeing a $100B company being built”.
My light bulb moment during FKOM was when Vishal spoke about the speed of Intel’s innovation and the co-innovation SAP is doing with Intel. He walked through the use case where his 100 node HANA cluster, with a per node cost of $40K, added additional nodes within 6 months of the initial deployment, and the new per node cost went down from $40K to $32K while per server performance increase based on a new chip set. That’s close to a 20% price reduction with improved performance within a 6 month period…with this being a fact: Can someone tell me why anyone would ever deploy UNIX platforms for SAP going forward? You may hear me use this story in presentations and conversations going forward 🙂

SAP states that Cloud is revolutionizing how to manage People, Suppliers and Money. It has become very clear for us at EMC that when SAP speaks about Cloud they are not talking about the Private Cloud, Public Cloud or Hybrid Cloud for SAP solutions we evangelize for our SAP customers. SAP is speaking about their ability to host business application and processes in a Public cloud using their offerings from their SuccessFactor and Ariba portfolio. It will be interesting to see how the private cloud for SAP journey that many SAP customers are making in 2013 will impact their decisions to move application workloads to the SAP Public Cloud model.

It’s also clear that SAP is committed to their Mobile strategy. The number of mobile users keeps increasing and the opportunity to provide value to those end users based on having them connected to the central “Crown Jewel” SAP system is clear.

SAP made a big point of communicating that they are embracing the Partner community, which has been said many times before, the difference this time from an infrastructure vendors perspective, is that I believe the SAP sales teams are starting to understand the value of working together on HANA campaigns and Cloud/Virtualization projects…which was very refreshing. With close to 20,000 EMC platforms for SAP customer bases, together we can make “wine out of water” transforming our joint customer’s businesses!

There are a few key people in the SAP ecosystem that I am fortune to know and got a chance to catch up with at FKOM as well. Some of these people are extraordinary technologists, visionaries, innovators, thinkers… They challenge the status quo in everything they do. Some of them apparently have a shining light on them at all times.
FKOM
To quote one of them from last week saying: “let’s go for big bold ideas to change the game”…I was of course smiling ear-to-ear and reminded myself that the only limits that exists are based on my own ability to imagine what the future can be like!
Next off to drive massive change in 2013. Game on!…Who is in?!!