SAP CEO Christian Klein
SAP CEO Christian Klein

SAP Rolls Out 3 High-Potential Weapons to Battle Oracle and Salesforce

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Ready to turn its dreams of transcending traditional ERP into reality, SAP is ready to bring the full promise of the Intelligent Enterprise to life in 2021 with a range of new end-to-end solutions and capabilities precisely aligned with the emergence of the digital economy.

Led by the rise of its rapidly expanding Industry Cloud offerings, its near-complete integration of its SaaS acquisitions, and its willingness to engage with customers in ways that would have been unfathomable only 3 years ago, SAP is completing its own transformation even as it guides tens of thousands of customers through theirs.

To get the full story on how SAP plans to achieve all that, please check out our in-depth analysis of SAP within our new 10-part Cloud Wars Top 10 Special Report: Which Cloud Vendors Will Thrive in 2021?

It’s a momentous time for 48-year-old SAP and 40-year-old CEO Christian Klein. Because while there’s great future potential in the three areas noted above plus others sure to be rolled out in the first half of 2021, the company also has to demonstrate unconditionally and unblinkingly that the growth-rate speedbump that rattled SAP in Q3 was a one-time blip rather than a sign of things to come.

I’m bullish on SAP because, above all, Klein and his team are all fully aligned on pushing the company past its vital but narrow focus on ERP by extending their capabilities around that core and into new areas around customer experience and employee experience, a reinvigorated Business Network, and the frictionless integration of all of its vast portfolio of solutions.

Here’s a quick excerpt from our in-depth analysis of SAP, which looks into the company through the 5 lenses of Opportunities, Challenges, Differentiation, Leadership and Big Questions:

Nobody knows more than SAP about how big global corporations operate. So in addition to the general move of ERP workloads to the cloud, and the rise of the industry cloud, there’s also big potential for SAP in:

  • its CX or customer-experience business, where it can bring to bear data and insights from ERP to understand customers more fully and from every dimension;
  • data analytics;
  • its Business Network that digitally interconnects companies in adjacent markets and complementary businesses;
  • the financial windfall coming from the future Qualtrics IPO; and
  • its new Digital Supply Chain business.

And Klein, who took over as sole CEO of SAP in March, seems eager to turn the corner from its painful Q3 disclosures—after which $30 billion in market-cap value was wiped out in a single day—with a full commitment to the company’s 400,000+ customers and their futures.

You can see this clearly in this comment from Klein in our in-depth analysis of SAP in that Special Report:

As the CEO of SAP, I firmly believe that prioritizing sustainable value creation has to be our very top priority. Therefore we will not try to trade the success of our customers and the significant growth potential of SAP against short-term margin maximization.

As always, Oracle will present a particular challenge to SAP as the companies race to deliver full suites of richly integrated SaaS applications along with in-depth industry solutions. SAP and Oracle are alone in the enterprise-software industry in their abilities to offer end-to-end solutions for customers—and in 2021, that “far end” of that end-to-end spectrum will move into unprecedented new areas.

In its competitive positioning against Salesforce, SAP needs to show that it brings unique value in multiple ways that Salesforce cannot match because it doesn’t offer ERP or HCM solutions.

Can SAP overcome those challenges and take full advantage of the exciting opportunities in front of it? Check out our detailed analysis and overview of SAP to get the inside story.

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