Welcome!

Artificial Intelligence Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, 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
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...