I flew down to Madrid yesterday to check out what’s happening in the SAP ecosystem at the company’s TechEd and Sapphire event. There are a ton of angles to consider in looking at the company’s comeback, but one of the most obvious is the growing influence of SAP’s Research Labs in Palo Alto. SAP’s future is in Silicon Valley… its just unevenly distributed.
Everyone is all aflutter about HANA, SAP’s in memory database/systems architecture, which drove a lot of coverage – but to me the real news probably wasn’t about technology, so much as design. You see, SAP founder Hasso Plattner has invested a ton in design skills in the Palo Alto center. I have worried in the past this was a science experiment – a lot of SAP screens still looked and felt terrible. But the company’s new user interfaces are a ton more usable and are apparently built for humans, rather than data entry monkeys in a Taylorist bad dream.
Words like beauty and design kept coming up in conversations – and notably in CTO Vishal Sikka’s keynote. SAP certainly isn’t alone in retooling around better Design for systems of engagement – IBM is scratching the same itch on behalf of customers. Its notable that …
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