Vendor events like SAP's analyst Summit often have the feel of an extended, PowerPoint-filled commercial for the host company. This is not a negative reflection on anyone — who can blame a vendor for putting its best face forward when given a captive audience for a couple days?
The keynotes, sessions and customer testimonials at SAP's event definitely accentuated all things positive. And there is no arguing that SAP is doing some interesting things with SOA, and potentially with SaaS. To get a little bit of the other side of the coin, we asked a variety of SAP execs, customers and analysts the purposely open-ended question, "what is one thing you think SAP could improve?"
We'll post a few responses today and a few more tomorrow.
David Bradshaw, CRM practice leader, Ovum (analyst)
On the event itself:
"[SAP could offer] a little reality; show some downside of products and implementations. You can only hear 'this is the greatest thing ever' so many times. I know it's not great marketing, but it would add reality."
Peter Graf, executive vice president, product and technology group, SAP
"And you seriously expect me to answer that?"
Jim Hagemann Snabe, general manager, industry solutions, SAP
On the user interface:
"I have an idea of an area that has become more important and we are getting our act together — usability simplification. Shai [Agassi] talked about it and we've come a long way in the last few years compared to where we were. We were really good at building software for processes, but we never went the extra mile for end users. With this new abstraction where you actually have the process pieces in the platform, you can abstract the UI and go create new UIs based on the same functionality and that tremendously increases our opportunity.
"It's an area which excites a lot of people, so it's not a difficult area to get excited about as a development organization… But it's certainly an area where still have lots to learn."
Check back tomorrow for a couple more …Jon Franke News Editor