Cloud Myth Buster Summary – the wrap

During the last few weeks we enjoyed demystifying the most common legends about Cloud for you. We hope we turned cloud for you from an indomitable beast into a pet.

Adopting and managing Cloud is a question of knowledge, it´s a question of awareness of risks and abilities. And finally every single customer needs to answer the question himself on how well the cloud provider did his homework to domesticate the beast and unlock the value of cloud for enterprise usage.

Cloud is a catalyst for the entire industry to undergo a significant transformation. With the arrival of this technology, status quo is changing faster than ever and require companies to change and adopt – or go out of business. Every single company needs to find a way to transform the business into the digital age.

We hope we have contributed to a better educated conversation about cloud. Also we wouldn’t like you to miss a summary of our series. here we go:

Myth Buster Summary - Infographic

#1: SAP is not a cloud player

True choice in where and how to adopt cloud based solutions – complimenting new or innovating existing processes. SAP offers customers the freedom to do this in a non-disruptive way. This creates new opportunities for all our customers and helps grow our cloud community every day. We have already cloud customers in 25 industries and 100+ countries all over the world.

Click here for the full story.

#2: SAP software is hard to use

SAP combines its achievements in business expertise over the past decades with the newly emerged focus on people and how they work. Our next generation cloud portfolio is delivered with a “mobile first” development approach and a consumer-like user experience.  Social collaboration is embedded in our product design. And we run hundreds of design-thinking and co-innovation workshops around the globe to engage the end user in our user interface designs. More than 36 million subscribers to SAP Cloud Services experience it every day.

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#3: You have to stay on premise or move to the cloud

In 2017, 50% of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by 2017. Therefore SAP’s cloud portfolio has been designed to serve the hybrid cloud reality. We bring SaaS, PaaS and integration content together to ensure interoperability for our customers. This delivers the freedom to pick and choose whatever creates value for the customer, independent of the technology stack. Cloud Computing will simply become an additional option in a heterogeneous but integrated landscape.

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#4: Running mission critical systems in the cloud is not secure

SAP handles data with the utmost discretion and strives to deliver services and support that allow business-critical processes to run securely. SAP is used to work with sensitive customer data for more than 4 decades now. Data security and data privacy stays part of our DNA. We protect our customer data with a defense in depth strategy where all layers are secured, not only our Cloud Data Centers that by the way meet a Tier-4 standard..

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#5: Cloud business is not proven

At SAP we are proud that we run our cloud built for Business. Forming the industry’s largest cloud base with more than 36 million end users subscribed to SAP´s cloud services, we are on our way to become the Leader in enterprise cloud business services. We help our customers and partners to gain competitive advantages and realize business benefits in the cloud. A proof point is the Ariba Business Network where more than 1.5 million businesses from more than 191 are connected, transacting more than $600 billion worth in commerce.
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#6: Cloud is only for small businesses

Early SaaS vendors focused on smaller companies as their business is often less complex, customer complexity might increase with the size of organization. We also see some industries which are more complex than others, irrespective of the company size. Differences lead to differentiated deployment footprints between On-Premise, Cloud, Managed Cloud and Hybrid landscapes. The entire SAP cloud portfolio is designed to serve various customer footprints and to ensure SAP serves large customers in the cloud with the same completeness and sustainability as On-Premise. This concept created a 70.000+ customer cloud installed base already of which 60% are classified as large enterprise.
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#7: Cloud is all about TCO

Early cloud Decisions were mainly driven by scale and reduction of costs. No upfront investments ( CAPEX ), but ratable payments over time ( OPEX ) lower the risk profile significantly. Beyond TCO, today´s business is driven by Speed and Agility. 52% of the Fortune 500 firms since 2000 are gone as they have been out-innovated by others– This makes Pace of inn ovation the #1 driver for cloud. SAP’s cloud solutions allow an agile adoption of new business models and capabilities, speed up innovation cycles and allow the required flexibility in the structure of organization, processes and IT to stay ahead of the game.

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#8: Cloud can’t adapt to my needs

Stand-alone SaaS solutions deliver simplification, innovation and velocity on the one side and offer a flexible cost structure on the other. Therefore enterprises suffer from the loss of flexibility due to higher standardization of SaaS solutions and accept the control in the hand of the solution provider. PaaS brings back some of the adorable enterprise aspects. With the combination of SaaS & PaaS enterprises have the best of both worlds. Control and flexibility paired with OPEX and Velocity makes SaaS the #1 innovation engine in the IT and PaaS the enabler for large scale enterprise SaaS adoption.

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#9: Cloud is hype in consumer-oriented industries only

SAP’s delivers a simplified consumption model that comes with a great user experience to bring the pace back to business that is required to stay competitive. But each industry adopts at own business priorities and own pace. Based on Public Cloud and Managed Cloud environments we see companies of any size and any industry moving their differentiating and non-differentiating processes to the cloud and gaining their individual advantages with a significantly simplified consumption of services.

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So much for busting some of the key myths we have come across in our cloud strategy and co-innovation work. We hope you enjoyed this series and you s tay tuned and in contact with us.

Sven Denecken ( @SDenecken ), Bert Schulze ( @BeSchulze ), Nikolai Vetter ( @NikolaiVetter ), and

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Originally appeared in SCN

Many people see in cloud computing only the people-centric, mobile-first, and analytic-driven applications which can be purchased with a credit card. This would undervalue the transformative power of the cloud.

If your cloud vision is narrowed down to SFA (sales force automation) or even any cloud CRM, then you need to accept that your applications will be siloed and integration with the rest of the business will be ad hoc at best.

A quick fix cloud application can become a long-term business problem when there is no integration between the application and the rest of the organization, especially at a process level.

To truly leverage the cloud for your business, cloud applications need to be considered in conjunction with a modern platform (PaaS) AND flexible integration capabilities. SAP h as taken this kind of holistic portfolio approach (more details ).

Switching magically between worlds

Have you ever read a book that takes place in more than one universe or watched a movie in which characters travel between past, present, and future?  Think of Harry Potter approaching the Hogwarts Express via London King’s Cross train station to get over to the world of wizards, or Connor McLeod traveling through the centuries and fighting back the baddies in seamless cuts between the Highlands and New York.

The seamless flow from one scene to the next and the logic of the mechanisms that transport characters between worlds is a fundamental success factor for these kinds of books and movies. If the characters’ travel didn’t make sense, we would be lost and uninterested. We are drawn into stories when the transition logic works well and gates to the future or past are built into the real world with everyday objects.

This analogy often comes to mind when I talk to customers about the cloud. Just as we expect creative and smooth transitions in books and movies, cloud users expect a seamless flow between cloud applications and on-premise or third party cloud–but it’s hard to achieve.

Together, integration & interoperability are the #2  cloud-related pain point (following security), as stated in many research articles like this one recently published in Forbes about .

Integration & interoperability are valid concerns, as cloud vendors often are only able to offer limited:

  1. Experience. We are running the first three miles of a marathon in cloud computing, so there are not many companies in the market who can show successful integration projects on large scale yet.
  2. Business understanding. The early cloud entrepreneurs have been and are still pure cloud vendors. They reflect neither the customer´s on-premise history nor the need to safeguard existing investments–consequently, they prefer a “rip and replace” strategy over integration.
  3. A single hand to shake. Very few vendors deliver cloud (SaaS) solutions + integration tools + integration content + extensibility platform (PaaS) as a unified solution. (SAP is an exception.)

Why integration & interoperability matter

Companies need to avoid information islands and fragmented processes in cloud solutions. Losing enterprise context while moving into the cloud is not an option. Integration across solution boundaries is necessary to prevent application silos. It requires a strategy that encompasses cloud as well as other on-premise solutions. Business users and cloud vendors are acknowledging and responding to this need–a recent survey from shows that 67% of CIOs using cloud applications have already adopted some hybrid tools integrating cloud and on-premise solutions.

Integration is necessary to both business users and IT.

  • Business Users Perspective

Interoperability and integration offer a single source of truth and accurate data; business users can rely on what they see and spend meetings talking about facts and real-time measurements instead of about doubts about data reliability. Faster insights and better decision-making capabilities are what businesses want and need to achieve.

  • IT perspective

A large enterprise runs, on average, between 1,000 and 2,000 applications. Some of the applications will go into the cloud, some are already there, and some may never be migrated. Enterprises adopt SaaS today primarily for commoditized processes such as CRM (Lead2Opportunity, but not Opportunity2Cash), procurement, and HCM (full HCM suite). Companies do not differentiate these processes from their competition and see a value in standardization and best practice sharing. But IT needs to manage governance and control for all of these processes regarding:

    • Data security, privacy,  and compliance
    • Support of complex landscapes
    • Control of data flows
    • Processes working end-to-end
    • Choice of integration technology
    • End-to-end  monitoring and support

What does it require to interoperate cloud solutions?

It is important to separate cloud on-boarding from interoperability.

  • Cloud on-boarding: One-time initial data load from existing systems to the cloud solution
  • Cloud Interoperability: follows on-boarding with continuous upkeep to ensure data is sincrenated and processes are integrated.

Interoperability is clearly superior to the traditional “rip-and-replace” or “stitch-together-with-other-middle ware” approach that many pure cloud vendors take to cloud solutions.

What you should look for in a cloud vendor

  • Point-to-point integration for simpler and highly standardized integration scenarios
  • Integration services that connect systems with pre-packaged integration content in a pure cloud deployment
  • Option to leverage existing infrastructure: On-premise technology and data services with pre-packaged integration content for OnPremise2Cloud via pre-packaged and rapid-deployment solutions
  • Open for re-use of third-party integration providers via a partnership for specific integration scenarios
  • Option to use further third-party integration platforms using our open certification program

Is your cloud vendor considering all of the above? No? Then run away, fast.

Customer Examples…

SAP cloud for customer – A large industrial manufacturer with multiple subsidiaries on different SAP ERP clients needed third-party ERP installations integrated into the flow. The main challenge has been the very tight time frame to achieve a rapid implementation with a small team to integrate accounts, materials, sales quotes, and sales orders.

SAP Cloud for people – A large manufacturing company with SAP ERP, multiple legacy HR, and financial applications worldwide. The goal was a migration from the existing legacy HR system.

    • 120+ third-party interfaces – Integration of third-party cloud solutions
      to SAP Employee Central (EC) and EC Payroll
    • 100% of SAP-to-SAP integration and 30% of total number of required integration covered by prepackaged integration (iFlows)

We learned many lessons with each customer, but the most important has been this co-innovation approach. This is why some SAP cloud releases are up to 80% based on customer feedback: we learn together, and we learn fast.

The SAP cloud portfolio has been designed to serve the hybrid cloud reality. We bring SaaS, integration tools, and integration content together to ensure interoperability for our customers.  At the same time, it delivers on line-of-business AND IT expectations to make them operate together in the cloud.

Focus on interoperability and your business will meet its goals. For further information, download our .

In the closing scene of Highlander, Queen’s “A kind of magic” plays. Cloud integartion and interoperability may sound like magic, but it´s simply the result of four decades of co-innovation between SAP and its leading enterprise business software customers.

Let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter to stay on top of the latest and greatest about cloud computing,

Regards @SDenecken

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Read other relevant blogs:

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- Cloud Extension program

Notes: Original blog appeared on SAP SCN community.

At SAPPHIRE NOW I had the pleasure to participate in a podium discussion with my colleague (member of SAP´s management board) on the topic of clouds, particularly about the differences between public and private cloud. Our experiences co-innovating with customers and partners came out in the discussion.

There are many definitions of public and private clouds, and I think a little simplification is in order for the purpose of this blog. (This is where some of the cloud purists will jump up and down).

1. Private cloud – hosted solutions, often managed by a partner or vendor

2. Public cloud – multi-tenant solutions, managed by the vendor

We know that the move for our customers to the cloud must be a thoughtful evolution. Our strategy centers on leveraging the right mix of cloud, hosted, and on-premise technology. Customers have very specific challenges they are looking to solve and very specific investments they want to leverage. Their starting point on this journey will help define the mix that is right for them.

(predominant deployment models)

But now, lets focus on cloud.