I’m headed out to SAP’s SAPPHIRE ’08 U.S. conference, this year held in Orlando. The conference is an annual pilgrimage for most of my Enterprise Irregular brethren. Over two dozen of us are going to the U.S. gig and will be given access to SAP’s executive leadership to get all our questions answered.
This will be my first SAPPHIRE. My interest in going is to ascertain if, how, and when SAP is going to incorporate 2.0 functionality into its massive ERP offerings. Of all the leading enterprise vendors, SAP has been conspicuously absent with real offerings in the space. Although SAP talked a good game and demoed a solid internal product, Harmony, at last year’s SAPPHIRE, we haven’t heard anything all year on the commercial possibilities for Harmony or how 2.0 collaborative features will be integrated into SAP’s legacy products. At least I am not aware of any. Of course, there will be a swat-team of SAPers in Orlando who will swarm me and set me straight if I am wrong. 🙂
What I find so odd, ironic about SAP in this space is that the company is, by far, the most progressive in reaching out to the blogger community– does the very best job at this and sets the standard, in fact. It has hired two leading social media experts, Shel Israel and Maggie Fox to help SAP with its marketing efforts, and many senior execs make heavy use of social media tools i.e., Twitter, blogging. The SAP developer network which makes use of a wiki for collaboration is over 750,000 people strong. In this ITSinsider post from last year, you’ll see in the comments how SAPers noted they make use of several wiki vendors and have certified Jive software forums for its NetWeaver product. Clearly, SAP “gets it.”
So, why so far ahead in using the tools and so behind in offering them simultaneously? This is the single question on my mind as I arrive in Orlando. I’ll be flanked with smart guys, so I feel pretty safe.
Most of us will be twittering from the conference. I will be respectful of the conference-spam factor and will only post items I think are uniquely important. If you have a question, you’d like asked of any SAP executive including Leo Apotheker and Henning Kagermann, just send me a DM to @ITSinsider on Twitter. I’ll do my best to get it answered.