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We lead in innovation: SAP

With the rise of cloud and mobility taking centre stage in 2012, SAP believes when it comes to innovation – it leads the market.

Klaus Boeckle, VP, head of consumer industries EMEA, and Emiel van Schaik, senior VP, EMEA head of industries, at SAP, said they believe SAP is doing better in this area than Oracle and other competitors.

“When we look into our competition, namely Oracle or Microsoft Dynamics, we are winning the market right now with our industry innovation. We are winning because we offer so much more for customers. We are not only doing business in the applications world, we are dominating in the analytics world, and we are moving into other markets as well, like the cloud, the database and mobility,” Boeckle said.

“Other competitors are looking to us for our leadership to dominate the mobility and consumer space. For us mobility is crucial for SAP to expand as a company and also for our customers. To know what your customer really wants, you can only really do that with a mobile device,” Boeckle added.

In an interview with CNME last week, Infor excutive VP, John Flavin, said he believed Infor was catching up so much in the enterprise software market that it had SAP looking over its shoulder. However, van Schaik said this is definitely not the case.

“We are not looking at Infor. I can’t see them catching up. They’re in a total different ball game. Infor is a consolidation mode of ERP-type applications, but not at all on the bench of where our customers would be looking at in terms of innovation for growth,” van Schaik said.

Van Schaik is just as liberal in admitting where SAP can learn from competitors as he is in claiming dominance in other areas.

“We have been market leader in applications for many years and are now looks for it to sustain, grow and do the trick again in emerging countries. In analytics, we are still market leaders but learn a lot from the other players. We are market leader in mobility but more on the platform space – in terms of applications it’s still a ‘Wild West’ there currently,” van Schaik said.

“With cloud people are definitely looking at how to commercialise a sales force model. In terms of capability and business model with cloud, everybody has to learn because it’s not the most profitable business yet. With database and technology we are definitely a follower,” he added.

The area both van Schaik and Boeckle slate as SAP’s main investment in the future is In-Memory.

“In-Memory technology is a key game changer for our company to help our customers not only to grow but also to innovate,” Boeckle said.

Van Schaik added: “Our In-Memory database is going to be the rock star of the future but that’s definitely where we are learning from our competitors. In 2012 we want to fully In-Memory enable our whole application suite.”

Geographically speaking, van Schaik said he sees MENA as the region to grow SAP further.

“We declare the Middle East and North Africa as the hope of the future and the foundation of the future,” van Schaik said.

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