Kagermann interview in knowledge@Wharton

I’ve mentioned knowledge@wharton before.  It is one of favourite knowledge services. (good and free)

Yesterday they published an interview with the SAP CEO, Henning Kagermann. Check it out. (hat tip Matthias)

I liked this bit.

Knowledge@Wharton: Historically your software has had the reputation of being a bit complex, difficult to install and, perhaps, rather inflexible… 

Kagermann: Yes. Yes.

Knowledge@Wharton: Is there some justification for this? 

Kagermann: You have to be fair here. On the other side you hear “highly integrated,” “big productivity improvements,” “entirely reliable,” “highest quality.” With the existing architecture, these are more or less [exclusionary]. If you have lots of functionality, you are not simple any longer. If you have lots of choices, it takes time to find the right thing. If you have a high degree of integration, you are not the most flexible. So, these benefits we brought to the market are always a trade-off.

We have seen other products which were more flexible and [yet they] died, because all of a sudden, the books were not in sync. Those types of things happen when it is too flexible.

But I’m with you; the future is getting both. And that’s what we are trying to do with a new architecture. We don’t want to give up on what we achieved in the past — 100% compliance, etc., but we want to add much more flexibility. And I think we can do so.

I feel that [what we have done] was the right sequence. You should not come with highly flexible but noncompliant and unproductive software. You should first come with highly integrated, highly productive software and then make it flexible. I think this is the better sequence.

 He also talks about the Adobe partnership. (pretty much what I was saying the other day)  By the way, for the Adobe stuff make sure you read this post from Matthias over at Adobe. It seems there are a couple of Good German Geeks we haven’t hired.

I wonder what Dennis has to say about this interview? He was rather forthright about an earlier one. As I was in defence

It isn’t easy taking over the reigns from the founders of a successful company.Will  Oracle and Microsoft will manage it as well as SAP has done?

That said, If one day my career moves upwards I hope I don’t have to attend heavy metal concerts.

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