SAP Sapphire Orlando 2024

By Patrick Moorhead - June 11, 2024

The Six Five team discusses SAP Sapphire Orlando 2024

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Daniel Newman: I’m actually going to bounce over to the SAP Sapphire here in Europe this week. I’m going to sit down with the CFO, Dominik Asam, and we’re going to talk a little bit about what’s going on over there. Very interesting guy. And I had a call with him just recently. SAP really, right now, I feel like under the leadership of Christian Klein is very focused on making sure the market doesn’t think that it’s going to be passed by. This will be the focus of Jorgen Moller’s conversation at this Six Five Summit. He’s the CTO, part of the executive board of SAP. And he actually joined me to talk about how SAP is attaching to others. And that was another big trend line of this year’s Sapphire, the attachment partnerships with Microsoft.

The partnership ecosystem, OpenAI, others that is basically open to LLMs, it’s building on top of it. Joule is the smart technology inside of SAP, but they’re not trying to be the one-stop control everything. They’re partnering with Copilot. Basically, they’re BTP, they’re business technology platform is very focused on enabling businesses to, A, run SAP in the cloud. B, run the most recent and most powerful AI workloads. And C, partner with the other innovations across technology providers in a very streamlined manner.

Pat, I think the market wants to see wins. The market wants to hear wins. I think it has done a good job in terms of growth of its business in the cloud. I do think SAP has some proving to do. And I think it’s doing it, but it has some proving to do on AI. I do think the biggest risk that all these software providers… I wrote a long diatribe about this yesterday, is that there’s only so many layers of abstraction for using AI in your software, where people are going to want less panes of glass. You’ll hear CEOs talking about this a lot. If you’re running Workday, you’re running Salesforce, you’re running SAP, you’re running maybe Fusion.

A lot of companies have all these different things. In the future, people are going to want to simplify. What remains as a database? What ends up becoming your front end? What becomes your CX level? Which part do customers interact with? And then, how does AI play in? Is it a higher abstraction where it can oversee everything, or is it going to be an AI in each application? Which, I think that’s what the app providers would like. I’m not sure that’s what the customer experience that people want would look like.

But SAP’s growth has been directionally good. Moving people to the cloud is really, really important. They’ve made a big focus of that with RISE. Also, check out our CIO practice leader, Dion Hinchcliffe, wrote a really extensive piece. I’ll put that in the show notes. A piece that was so juicy, so good, and so in-depth that even Christian Klein liked it.

Patrick Moorhead: Love it.

Daniel Newman: You know when they get the attention, but what CIOs need to be thinking about here, because that SAP is a CIO/CTO platform that runs businesses every day.

Patrick Moorhead: Pat, congrats on that Dion grab.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it was great. He did a great job. Like I said, he did a breakdown of SAP Sapphire, what CIOs need to know. And it was just this great one-pager. If you’re a CIO out there, I’ll make sure to share it out with all you in the notes.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, very similar to Cisco Live, SAP Sapphire was putting generative AI into more SAP products. Joule first came out in SuccessFactors, and that’s their HRM/HCM platform now integrated into S/4HANA, cloud, SAP Build, SAP Integration Suite. And they talked about even more coming into Ariba and Analytics Cloud. It’s interesting, I really don’t post a bunch of stuff from the news site, but I thought SAP did a great job showing how enterprises can take advantage of AI from a wide variety of use cases.

And that’s whether it’s HRM with SuccessFactor, is it Fieldglass, SCM via SAP Business AI, and Ariba, finance, procurement service sales and marketing and commerce. I thought it was a really good, one of the most thoughtful and compressed things that if you are a CIO and you’re looking for ways to take advantage of it, I could actually recommend it. The other thing is we saw a lot of partnerships. Surprise, surprise. We saw NVIDIA in SAP, we saw Mistral AI in SAP.

We saw Accenture in SAP, we saw AWS in SAP. And then finally, which I thought was super interesting, we saw Joule and how it integrates into Microsoft Copilot to better unify those experiences. And Dan, I think that’s what you were hitting on before, it was good to see. I’m super interested to see how these two Copilots chase each other.

Patrick Moorhead

Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.