A cunning plan.

I moan a  lot here on this blog about the lack of marketing focus the core applications get at SAP in comparison to all the Netweaver and SOA platform stuff.  Either someone in marketing is reading my blog (Gartneresque probability of 0.1) or there is a cunning plan that I’m not aware of. (Gartneresque probability of 0.99)

Not one, but two  press releases focused on HCM on the same day. And timed to coincide with a major HR conference in the US.  I guess I need to eat some humble pie.

SaaS. I dont really get it.

I've read a fair bit about ASP, on demand, SaaS, (and now heaven forbid SaaS 2.0). I'm stumped. (yes, a cricket metaphor again)

I'm trying hard to understand what the differences are between what Salesforce.com does and what ADP has been doing since the late 1940's (well, 1957 when they moved to punchcard computing).

Other than alot of hype and acronyms, I can't find any differentiating factors, except that ADP do payroll, car dealer services and brokerage services and have had 167 or whatever quarters of continuous growth, and are very very profitable. Also ADP seems to have a more quietly spoken, mild mannered CEO.

You may have missed the deal announced today in Leo's speech at Sapphire with IKEA (35 countries, 85 000 employees).  (There are now more users on the ADP-SAP global view platform than there are salesforce.com users.)

ADP's 50 years of service delivery experience powered by SAP technology.

Imagine ADP start doing CRM.


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This is my first day back at work for nearly 3 weeks  (thank you german labour law). more about that in another post once I have been through the email torrent. It was weird not accessing the web or the blogsphere for this time. no doubt there will be much to a catch up on. I will watch the sapphire blogging thingy that Jeff has arranged with interest

Mendocino is now called Duet. (hmmmm).  It is better than  mysapmicrosoftoutlookintegration2007poweredbynetweaver.com, but as my mate  phillip noted it does have more than a tinge of Kenny Rogers to it.

I have presented it to several customers over the past six months. It does hit the right note. (aaaah)

The website though, is great. Check it out  (see if you can see the mac in the demo!) 

ngiya ekhaya (or I’m going home)

Back to my roots:

I'm really excited to be going back to South Africa tonight, for a mix of holiday and and a little work.

The holiday will involve catching up with my brother and his family, seeing my folks, old friends, watching some cricket, riding a mountain bike recklessly,and introducing my kids to the joys of a very long deserted beach. Plettenberg Bay here we come.

On the work front, I'm speaking at the HR special interest group meeting in Johanesburg on the 11th of May, and meeting a couple of South African customers.(if there are any SA customers or partners out there reading this, come along, or drop me or Adam Sentonaris at SAP Africa a note and we can set up a meeting)

I'm always amazed that the innovation and energy levels when I go back. Down there at the tip of Africa, lurk some of the best SAP implementations in the world. For instance, Employee Self Service adoption in the SAP HR customer base in South Africa is higher than that in the UK! Sasol, ABSA, Standard Bank, Telkom and others run SAP shared service setups that impress me tremedously.  South African customers are often the first to ramp up new technologies, SASOL is speaking about Mendocino at sapphire for instance. I'm looking forward to meeting more customers and learning what they are up to.

Instead of SA customers coming to Europe and the US to learn about best practice, I'd like reverse the trend. The next time a conference organiser is looking for best in class SAP implementations, take my advice and head south!

South African HR practice generally can teach the world a lot, I'll post more about this soon.

If you are looking to offshore HR IT on SAP, I would seriously consider South Africa. Strong technical skills at a good price, good english language skills, excellent SAP ecosystem, HR people who understand HR and passionate about getting the best out of people. I'm suprised one of the BPO providers hasnt done this.

I also need to learn more about what is going on with other South African IT innovations. For one, Umbuntu looks very interesting. SAP Research is also doing some cool stuff down there.

My blog will be a little quiet…

a conference rather than an unconference

The unconference seems to be a rather trendy thing at the moment. The esteemed web 2.0 types seem to always be invited to them. Hugh of gapingvoid fame has done a cartoon about them. But I don’t think they have hit Walldorf or perhaps even Birmingham yet. From what little I have read, they remind me of the mad hatters’ tea party, the unbirthday.


 Anyway, I’m lucky enough to be attempting to force ESA  on an HR audience at this event, a conference. It is in Birmingham, UK, rather than Alabama.

This is not just a shameless punt for the conference organiser, Thomas Cook, although he does put on a good show. If you are interested in HR and its future you need to hear Graham White. He explains how technology has changed his HR function radically.  He is the head of HR at Surrey, and it the best HR speaker I have ever heard.  (And I have heard many)

You can also get to hear about Mendocino and other tidings of joy. The nightlife in Brum is suprisingly good, especially compared to Walldorf.  My liver has just reminded me that I was foolish enough to go out with the folks from SAP Russia and their customer. But the less said about that the better.