Run Simple. What does new tagline mean for SAP customers?

I spent much of last week at SAP Sapphire where I split my time between our exhibitor booth, meeting with our partners, and attending sessions on SAP BPC and SAP HANA.

SAP Sapphire Run Simple

But it was the keynote that set the tone for the event. The overarching focus was that new sole CEO Bill McDermott is hell-bent on changing SAPs reputation from complex and hard to work with; to simple and customer-centric. “Run Simple” is the new tagline and mantra at the ‘new SAP’ and the keynote speeches devoted a significant amount time to driving home this point.


“Simple is as Simple Does”

SAP Sapphire Run Simple

At Tagetik we certainly agree with the concept of “Run Simple.” but as the great philosopher, Forrest Gump, once said “Stupid is as stupid does”.  In SAP’s case it will be “simple is as simple does”. Will SAP be able to internalize the slogan?  It is tough to change the culture and market perception of a behemoth software company like SAP but it is certainly the right goal; only time will tell if they are successful.  A prime example of the challenge ahead is SAP’s EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) roadmap. One thing I took away from the conference is that the new slogan needs to be applied to SAP’s EPM roadmap. I heard a lot of customer confusion on this topic and I jotted down a few of the questions customers posed:

  • “What do I do if I want to run BPC on HANA but don’t have or need NetWeaver?”
  • “What if I want to continue using the Microsoft version?  Will it be enhanced?”
  • “What is the roadmap for BPC if I don’t have plans to migrate to HANA?”
  • “What is Unified vs. Classic BPC?  How do I know which I need? Do they both include consolidation?”
  • “Will both Unified and Classic continue to be enhanced?
  • “What is the future of BOFC (Business Objects Financial Consolidation)?”
  • “Will BPC on HANA eliminate the need for BOFC?  If so, what is the migration path?”
  • “If I migrate from BW-IP to BPC will they be functionally equivalent?  Will I need HANA?”
  • “What performance improvements can I expect for the additional cost of HANA?”
  • “If I decide not to migrate to HANA what enhancements will I miss out on?”


Quickly publishing a simplified roadmap that addresses these and other customer questions relative to EPM and HANA would be a good first step on the road to Run Simple. The good news for SAP is that if they are able to achieve simplification it really does have an impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Run Simple = Business Simplexity

At Tagetik we’ve seen firsthand the impact simplification has. We started using term Business Simplexity five years ago as our mantra for making complex business processes simple by designing software around the business process first and technology second. This philosophy has been a key to our consistent global growth and high customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Our approach to embracing SAP HANA is a perfect example of business simplexity in action.  We are convinced that SAP HANA is a groundbreaking technology that will alter the way businesses are run (for the better); so we will be supporting SAP HANA as an underlying database to our major release for 2014, Tagetik 5.

Disruptive Technology Should Not Disrupt Business

But we also realize that while HANA is a disruptive technology, it should not be disruptive to the business. So, we have defined a very simple and clear path for our customers to upgrade to Tagetik 5 and a simple path to deploy Tagetik on SAP HANA.

Upgrade in 2 Hours
Our simple architecture and designing with our current customers’ needs in mind make Tagetik upgrades non-disruptive to finance, to IT, or to business processes.  For example, existing Tagetik customers upgrading to Tagetik 5 (a major release) will be able to do so in as little as 2 hours. That’s Simple.

Migrate in 2 Days
Even those wanting to make significant technology changes including moving from MS SQL Server or Oracle DB to SAP HANA or from on-premises to cloud can do so in less than 2 business days. That’s Simple.


Will “Run simple.” work at SAP?

So those of you who are skeptical about the “Run Simple” mantra, I agree that right now it is aspirational for SAP but it can be done. It just comes down to whether it can be done in a company of SAP’s size and heritage.


Whether it works or not “Run simple” is the right message to send to SAP’s customers …but don’t get me going on the “Simplify Everything. Do Anything” slogan.  That’s a little too much even for a marketing guy like me!


SAP: Simply Everything. Do Anything.


What do you think?  If you could be up and running Tagetik on HANA instead of Oracle DB in less than two days would you do it?


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