SAP CEO says outsourcing event platform ‘not the best decision’ after Sapphire technical glitches

Despite a rocky start that prevented many from tuning in on the first day, SAP‘s online Sapphire Now Reimagined still managed to attract 200,000 visitors, five times last year’s in-person attendance in Orlando, according to chief executive officer Christian Klein, and more than one million views.

While the event team quickly pivoted to streaming on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube for the rest of the week, day one was not a happy time for SAP or for viewers. However, the company persevered, rolling out a series of announcements – and an apology to attendees for the technical glitches.

“It was probably not the best decision to outsource our event platform,” Klein admitted during an executive Q&A on Friday. “I take accountability for that.”

SAP HANA turns ten this year, and to celebrate the company is planning to release support package stack (SPS) 05 this month. SAP says it will facilitate hybrid data processing scenarios by extending on-premises workloads and easing the transition to SAP HANA Cloud. SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 05 will have long-term maintenance extending for five years after release to customers, extending support through June 2025.

SAP HANA Cloud, originally available on Microsoft Azure, is now also offered on Amazon Web Services (AWS). SAP’s first solution built on the HANA Cloud is SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, which it says is the first enterprise-ready, data warehouse in the cloud. Starting this month SAP expects to provide integrated data flow functionality, including a broad range of connectors, to a restricted group of customers. Prebuilt business content will start in Q2/2020 with connections to SAP Consumer Sales Intelligence for the retail industry. Content for the finance industry will follow in the second half of this year. SAP will soon be offering a free trial of HANA Cloud.

Customers’ environment efforts also received a boost, as SAP executive board member for product engineering Thomas Saueressig announced Climate 21, a program to support customers in their climate-related activities. The SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics application is the first product in the Climate 21 program. It uses data from SAP S/4HANA and third-party sources and calculates carbon footprint within the SAP Analytics Cloud.

“In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s even more important for businesses to quickly react to environmental and market changes,” he said in a statement. “We’re helping to address these challenges with new ways for customers to address sustainability, lead in their industry and grow their business networks.”

The company also launched its Industry Cloud, a set of pre-packaged industry-specific services for automotive, energy and utilities, consumer products, and engineering, construction, and operations built on technologies in the Business Technology Platform portfolio. They will use an open API framework, open process model, open domain model and common business services, and will be interoperable with SAP’s intelligent suite.

Tied in with the Industry Cloud is an initiative called Industry 4.Now, which will integrate business data and operational data from the shop floor.

“The industry cloud also makes development of new solutions easy, with business services that provide common functionality like currency conversion but also subscription management, billing, and other services that create a simple and unified user and customer experience,” Peter Maier, president of Industries and Customer Advisory noted in a blog post. “Our Industry 4.Now initiative is an integral part of the industry cloud strategy and we are already on our way.”

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Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree

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