Blogger/Analyst Session with Mark Aboud at SAP Run Better Tour

We had the chance for a small group of bloggers and analysts (okay, I was probably the only one with “blogger” on my name tag) with Mark Aboud, Managing Director of SAP Canada, and Margaret Stuart, VP for the Canadian BusinessObjects division. Since this was a roundtable Q&A, I’ll just list some of the discussion points.

  • 50% of SAP Canadian customers are small and medium businesses, sold through their partner network. ERP sales tend to be made through larger partners, whereas analytics are handled by a larger number of smaller partners as well.
  • Business ByDesign has only been launched in Canada within the past 60 days, making it difficult to tell much about the uptake here. There is one live production customer in Canada now, although they were not able to name names. Pricing and minimum number of users is similar to the US offering.
  • It sounds like HANA is a focus in Canada, but nothing concrete to talk about yet – seems like the analytics sales team is being focused on it and has built a good pipeline. Maple Leaf Foods, who spoke at the keynote, is considering it. The use cases exist, but the customer may not realize that the solutions to big data analytics are within their reach.
  • StreamWork is pretty much a big zero in Canada right now: they’re starting to talk to customers, but it sounds like very early days here. I was promised a follow-up on this question.
  • They’re putting a lot of weight on mobile apps for the future, particularly in industries that have remote users. I’m envisioning an underground miner with an iPad. Winking smile
  • The use of analytics such as BusinessObjects has become much more agile: it’s not taking 6 months to create an analytical view any more, the end users have the expectation that this can be done in a much shorter time.
  • I posed the question about how (or whether) all these great analytics are being used to generate events that feed back automatically into business processes; although there was recognition that there’s some interesting potential, it was a bit of a blank. This is the same question that I posed at last year’s SAPPHIRE about creating a link between their sustainability initiatives and BPM – I’m seeing this as a critical missing link from analytics through events back to processes.

A good opportunity for Q&A with Aboud and Stuart about what’s happening with SAP in Canada. Since most of my focus with SAP has been through the US conferences, it was nice to see what’s happening closer to home.

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