SAP aims for "visible joy in seven minutes"?

by Davin Wilfrid

November 29, 2010

by Davin Wilfrid, Senior Analyst, insiderRESEARCH

In a new article on,  Jim Hagemann Snabe discusses the new direction he and fellow SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott are taking the company. The leaders draw inspiration from Apple -- who have consistently delivered products tailored to catch  consumers' fancy rather than just meeting their needs -- and from the video game industry. Game maker EA Games has a rule, according to Snabe, that a game consumer must show "visible joy in seven minutes" -- otherwise the game will tank.

"[S]o I told that to our developers: visible joy in seven minutes. We're still working on that. That obviously does matter a lot and we are doing a lot [around that]," Snabe told the site.

It's a worthy initiative, and one that SAP customers have been wanting. The new wave of touchscreen devices, slick apps, and hands-free everything have in turn made anything else look hopelessly outmoded by comparison. This is a big deal for a software company that increasingly relies on user adoption (mobility anyone?) as a pillar of growth.

Snabe spends the rest of the article repeating the company's strategy of offering the leading on-premise, on-site, and on-demand software packages. While many companies are evaluating SaaS and other cloud-based options, Snabe says, most will likely keep their core differentiating processes and data in-house. Therefore, a hybrid approach is best.

This message is nothing new -- and I mean that in the best possible way. One of the knocks on SAP has always been its inability to communicate its direction and strategy to its customers, and to see McDermott and Snabe enforcing their own message discipline so consistently over the past six or seven months bodes well. The company now has a digestible, clear explanation for what it's doing -- and that's something to bring customers, partners, and analysts visible joy indeed.

SAP co-CEO on how the company is taking inspiration from the gaming world []

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