Understanding the SAP cloud strategy — or lack thereof

SAP has been the darling of enterprise software for many years, and dependence on it continues to this day. However, since the emergence of the SaaS space more than 10 years ago, and with the current rise of IaaS public cloud computing providers, SAP is getting some tough questions from its user base around its cloud-computing strategy.

Oracle buys Taleo in a $1.9B response to SAP

Oracle is buying Taleo, a SaaS-based talent management company for $1.9 billion. Oracle said Taleo’s services will become part of the Oracle “public cloud.” Taleo could bring both more cloud credibility and more vertical expertise to Oracle’s broadening applications portfolio.

Oracle-HP: How things got this bad

Oracle and HP used to coexist quite well — People forget that the first Oracle Exadata ran on HP hardware. Then Oracle bought Sun and things went downhill fast. Public spats played out in CEO letters to The New York Times, and now court documents.

IBM, Microsoft tout fat cloud progress, but proof is thin

To hear IBM and Microsoft tell it, their respective cloud strategies are coming along nicely, thank you very much. But given the hazy definitions of cloud computing and the lack of real numbers, it’s hard to tell if that really is the case.

Has SAP gotten cloud religion?

When SAP pre-announced better-than-expected earnings, there was no mention of cloud computing. But, there is a feeling that the company, as it completes its buyout of SuccessFactors and closes more Business ByDesign deals, might be able to put its reputation of cloud cluelessness behind it.

Proposed spec aims to nix cloud lock-in

A group of tech companies led by IBM and including CA, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, NetApp, Red Hat, SAP — is throwing its weight behind a proposed standard to assure that applications can move between clouds. Amazon, RackSpace, Microsoft? They’re not on board, at least not yet.

Salesforce.com’s Rypple buy shows the appeal of HR apps

Salesforce.com’s plan to purchase Rypple shows the importance of human capital management to the new cloud-savvy enterprise. The game plan calls for a new Salesforce.com HCM business unit and the relabeling of Rypple’s offerings as “Successforce.” The effort will be directed by industry vet John Wookey.

Today in Cloud

SAP clearly believes they have something special in HANA, the company’s in-memory database solution. Originally geared toward rapid data analysis, SAP execs have increasingly been describing a broader set of use cases for the HANA technology. Now, in pronouncements from a company event in Boston this week, SAP is claiming that HANA will help the company pass IBM, Microsoft and Teradata to become the number 2 database vendor (behind Oracle) by 2015. HANA is interesting technology, and SAP already claims some $100 million in HANA-related software sales, but it’s a very different technology from the incumbents it’s trying to unseat. SAP has a lot of work to do, to convince prospective buyers that HANA works, that it meets their needs, and that it does so better than whatever they’re using today. In the conservative world of enterprise IT, all of that is going to take time… and 2015 is actually not very many procurement cycles away.