Welcome!

Artificial Intelligence Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Microservices Expo

Artificial Intelligence: Article

Benioff Mocks SAP's Late Move To On-Demand CRM: "First Siebel, Then Oracle, Then Microsoft..."

"Europe's most influential technology company is helping us make on-demand the global standard," Says SalesForce.com Boss

'Europe's most influential technology company is helping us make on-demand the global standard,' wrote Marc Benioff (pictured) in a memo yesterday to all his employees at SalesForce.com. He was referring to SAP, the German software giant, which is finally expected to announce an on-demand CRM product this week, after what Benioff called 'months of warming up.'

"Is SAP on the defensive?" Benioff's memo continued. "Are they worried that with few customers actually using their CRM software, and salesforce.com making significant inroads in their customer base, their entire business model may be at risk?"

He was far from optimistic, on SAP's behalf:
"For starters, they had better hope that their on-demand offering will win more fans than their on-premise solution has."

But that was just his opening salvo. Soon he warmed to this theme:

"While SAP claims leadership in CRM, experience suggests a different story.  I have often wondered, 'If SAP's CRM software is any good, then why doesn't SAP use it to manage their own customer relationships?'  I have interviewed hundreds of salespeople and executives from SAP from around the world, and each has told me the only CRM system at SAP is an executive system based on Microsoft Excel.  I'm not surprised since I have never met a salesperson anywhere in the world who uses SAP CRM.  Indeed, Gartner noted at a recent conference that only 19 percent of SAP CRM customers actually use it.  If fewer than a fifth of our customers used our service, we'd consider that a failure.  At SAP, they call it a business plan.  Even SAP's largest customers such as Dupont, DeutschePost, AirProducts, Autodesk, EFI, DeutscheBank, Analog Devices, and so many others use Salesforce for CRM."
"People who haven't followed our company closely," he continued, "closely often ask, 'Aren't you worried? A company with the resources of SAP can bring so much to this battle.' But that's exactly the problem. Observers tend to overestimate the creativity and innovation that entrenched technology companies can bring to a particular problem and underestimate the effect of business model conflicts that lurk behind the scenes."

He then lambasted SAP in the strongest possible terms:  

"Let's state it simply: SAP is an innovation-free company.  When reporters describe the great innovators of this industry, it's easy to identify the significant contributions of many of the leaders. For Oracle, it's the database;  for Apple, the Mac, iPod, and iTunes; for Microsoft, the PC operating system; for Intel, the microprocessor. But for SAP?  I struggle to think of a single innovation that SAP has contributed.  Their code is as bulky and inefficient as it is expensive and unloved by its users."
"And that is just part of the problem.  Mustering the will to turn your back on the business model that has enriched you, your employees, and your shareholders has time and again proved far more difficult than solving technological hurdles.  SAP, like Oracle and Microsoft, now risks cannibalizing its existing customer base.  Can they actually afford to convert their billions of dollars in maintenance revenue into subscriptions?  This classic innovator's dilemma engenders painful internal rifts and wastes valuable time while customers' needs languish." 

Benioff ended his memo with a hint that SAP might so founder that it would become Oracle's next acquisition prey:

"Siebel tried to sell an admittedly inferior on-demand product as an on-ramp to its on-premise system.  It appears that on-ramps make road pizza out of your business model. That strategy sent an entire company slouching towards Redwood Shores this week.  Will SAP make the same mistake?"

"Of course, in the end, I agree with Henning Kagerman that SAP's customers should explore the benefits of on-demand," Benioff concluded. "In fact, I invite all of them to sign up for a free 30-day trial.  When rivals who have long dismissed our model finally embrace on-demand, minds and markets are opened to us.  Let's respond the salesforce.com way and make each one of these customers a success."

They don't make CEOs like Marc Benioff any more.

More Stories By SAP News Desk

SAP News Desk trawls the world's news information sources and brings you timely updates on the world's leading provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and its various software product lines used to integrate back-office functions such as distribution, accounting, human resources, and manufacturing.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
AI and machine learning disruption for Enterprises started happening in the areas such as IT operations management (ITOPs) and Cloud management and SaaS apps. In 2019 CIOs will see disruptive solutions for Cloud & Devops, AI/ML driven IT Ops and Cloud Ops. Customers want AI-driven multi-cloud operations for monitoring, detection, prevention of disruptions. Disruptions cause revenue loss, unhappy users, impacts brand reputation etc.
Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
After years of investments and acquisitions, CloudBlue was created with the goal of building the world's only hyperscale digital platform with an increasingly infinite ecosystem and proven go-to-market services. The result? An unmatched platform that helps customers streamline cloud operations, save time and money, and revolutionize their businesses overnight. Today, the platform operates in more than 45 countries and powers more than 200 of the world's largest cloud marketplaces, managing mo...
I spend a lot of time helping organizations to “think like a data scientist.” My book “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science” has several chapters devoted to helping business leaders to embrace the power of data scientist thinking. My Big Data MBA class at the University of San Francisco School of Management focuses on teaching tomorrow’s business executives the power of analytics and data science to optimize key business processes, uncover new monetization opportunities an...
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centers, cloud workloads, networks, and endpoints. All our products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defense with centralized visibility and investigation, enabling better, faster protection. With more than 6,00...