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back to article Surprise departure for SAP boss

The chief executive of SAP Leo Apotheker is leaving the top job, and the company board, after less than a year in the job. Apotheker has worked at SAP since 1988 when he joined as boss of SAP France. He was joint-CEO of the backoffice software group from April 2008 to May 2009, in order to ensure a smooth takeover from his …

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Pint

Contract?

If his contract wasn't renewed, was he a contractor or permanent employee of SAP? I can only drool over the salary he would have made in the last year....

SAP are brilliant at surviving off maintenance fees from software created in the 1990's, and from their ridiculously priced consultants who implement old software.

They need to start from scratch and redesign how the whole ERP database engine works, because at the moment its just slow and inefficient, and like someone else said, stop providing services from data centres which were designed during the cold war.

Can't see McDermott and Snabe doing much different though, so lets just carry on as we were...

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Coffee/keyboard

nope

Leo ist with SAP for many years, doing (before CEO) sales and controlling I think.

This "old software" is always legally up to date. There are new technologies to use if you want to use a portal. And if you know what you're doing, you're fast in development.

As a "ridiculously priced" consultant, I tell you that SAP's strength is in the integration of all their components. Try to see what it means to constantly rummage around in the interfaces, when you have them. It may be cheap at the beginning but with the time it becomes a pain in the ass for all companies. And... ERP works just fine, if your service center is smart and knowledgeable enough to make performance adjustments. You wouldn't believe what crap you can find implemented in all companies, from themselves or from consultants who don't know squat. Truth is an SAP consultant is a real SAP consultant when they embrace SAP's internal philosophy and know much more than you could think. SAP is not ABAP so a technical consultant needs to actually know law, programming and functional (few consulting companies get that).

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FAIL

Have to agree...

SAP is simple terrible, from the back end ERP right through to the horendous GUI

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Dont know!

They have no idea what they are doing. Buying up BI companies like Business Objects and Outlooksoft, then suggest they will drop development for existing SAP tools BEFORE they integrate the new tools. Nobody knows what their strategy is so how can you buy from them!!!! Oracle are now far ahead.

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WTF?

Oracle far ahead? Come on...

Oracle has been, for many many years, pursuing the same "business model" that SAP always has enjoyed. For the uninitiated, here are the basic steps, learned after two SAP projects in which I took part:

1- Convince top executives that you're the only viable solution in the ERP market. This is the only part that does not generate profits for them.

2- Have an expensive array of juniors turned consultants implement something that is at least remotely close to what the top executives expect. At this step, SAP collects licence fees, plus consultancy fees.

3- Collect each year your annual licence fee. Since implementation has been such a pain and so expensive, nobody dares to think about moving to a different major version or even to apply updates, so you don't have to spend too much on that.

Sometimes this basic process fails and ends up in court. But most often the top execs that choose the package are not keen to admit failure and thus things keep going on for decades like that.

In all their acquisitions, Oracle is trying to capture customers. Forgive me, but all the PeopleSofts, Siebels and everything else they've purchased simply cannot be integrated without a monster effort that is not going to happen in a word dominated by short term profitability (assuming of course that it makes sense to do it). It is just more profitable to keep acquiring companies (e.g Sun) than try to have something remotely close to an strategy. SAP mastered that much earlier than Oracle.

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Boffin

Yeah right.

About buying BI companies - I also think it was a mistake for the same reasons as Ian 45 said.

Oracle being far ahead... that's of course a joke, I laugh heartily. Think about a multinational company doing payroll in 40 countries, needing to stay up-to-date legally in all of them. Oracle barely does that in the US. Oracle is very good at acquiring other companies :P though and getting headlines - that works only in US though.

Glasses, because they make you see better.

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Thumb Up

Juniors produce the most money

Yepp. This model has been used by SAP consultancy, which is overpriced even compared to Accenture, but also by Accenture and IBM. If you have a piramid model that enables you to coordinate the juniors and charge the customer, you can make huge profits. If you want good implementations of SAP software choose the local boutiques - small SAP consulting companies or try your luck with freelancers.

I personally find SAP the development house good, but SAP the consulting business bad.

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WTF?

From a SAP consultant.

Oh Man, that's a pity.

I do find that SAP has lost a bit its direction so maybe it's a good thing.

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SAP slow?

The ABAP engine and it's fully integrated monitoring stack is probably one of the most efficient architectures out there.

OK the whole java app server ain't the quickest, but I personally blame Java.

SAP just can't start from scratch on ERP, there are over 160million lines of code!!!!

SAP does however need to get some vision and diversify, not just rely on age old ERP principles. Since Shai Agassi left I've not really seen any viable vision other that buying a few small technologies.

I wonder when IBM/MS/Google will buy them

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Unhappy

Slow And Painful

The GUI is very old fashioned - similar to the old O/S2 from the 1980s. However, it can be made to work, but it needs people that really know what they are doing. Although it sounds physically impossible, the java both blows and sucks.

Far too many of the system integrator firms promise much but deliver little - they say that they have experienced people and charge a fortune, but actually supply staff with at best limited exerience (and they pay them a lot less than they charge the client!)

They make lots of comments about "business process change" and promising "best practices" but in most cases, the change is not for the better and does not deliver any real benefits. But as the AC @ 14:06 stated, the top execs don't like to admit there is a problem and won't pull out. So they throw more money into the bottomless pit that is the SAP project, and SAP convince everyone that they have another happy customer.

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