Like the buzz-killing Family Guy character, SAP has lost touch with the times--and customers aren't laughing.
Deciphering Enterprise Apps
By Thomas Wailgum, CIO
“‘Twas not a good fortnight for that going concern SAP.” -Buzz Killington
That’s what I imagine Buzz Killington would say, regarding SAP’s recent corporate exploits and executive departures. For those not familiar with the hit TV show Family Guy, Buzz Killington is a fictitious and well-heeled British gent from the 19th century who sours events with his mere presence.
“He is what one would imagine to be ‘cool’ in late 19th-century times,” states his Family Guy wiki page, “but is a complete and utter buzz-kill by modern standards; hence his name, and whence the humor surrounding him derives.”
The inevitable, high-level resignations and game of musical chairs that occurred at SAP during the past couple of weeks serve to show that SAP’s even-higher-level leadership has finally realized that the ERP vendor faces a wee bit of trouble. A change in CEO and a board-level shake-up were necessary first steps.
SAP watchers, enterprise software analysts and other assorted SAP hanger-ons are left with only speculation, because SAP’s future—its strategy for success, its roadmap for its software development, its level of devotion to satisfying its customers—is in flux. Change is in the air, for sure. As Forrester Research’s Paul Hamerman notes in a blog post: “One thing that is clear is that SAP is committed to changing its meandering direction. Failure to do so will result in a loss in market value and eventual acquisition.”
Yet perhaps we are all prematurely writing off SAP luminary Hasso Plattner and his cohorts. Executive shake-ups are not uncommon events.
Then again, it’s foolish to understate the gravity of SAP’s precarious situation. On Family Guy, Buzz Killington’s arrival typically produces laborious groans, sighs of boredom and a general malaise among those unfortunate enough to find themselves in his presence.
SAP execs better watch out: Customers are starting to seem a little tired of SAP’s same old rhetoric.
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