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Chủ Nhật, 15 tháng 12, 2013

Ability to think like a startup important, says SAP's Vishal Sikka - Economic Times

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Upstart rivals such as Salesforce are not a big threat, but the ability of SAP to think like a startup is the important concern, a top executive at the German enterprise software company has said. Vishal Sikka, a member of the executive board who in May became responsible for all of SAP's product development, termed the current period as one of great transition in technology and economic models.

"Companies have been struggling to define their correction in view of this. You can think of it as a wave that is coming, many are being swept under the wave and struggling. So far, we are ahead of it because of innovation, and we are manoeuvring the company in the direction of new models and platforms," he told ET in an exclusive interview.

Sikka, who grew up in Baroda, is credited with developing HANA, SAP's computing technology that has been bucking the demand slowdown. His name has come up as a likely candidate to replace co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe after he steps down next year, although SAP has not said there will be another co-CEO.

Open source software, cheap infrastructure, and rental models were bringing about huge disruption he added. While firms such as, which offer on-demand software, have forced enterprise software giants such as SAP and Oracle to come up with their own versions of less expensive on-demand flavours of their products, Sikka said it is not competition that keeps him awake at night.

SAP started offering subscription-based pricing first in 1982 to small wineries in France and he said it is now seeing a mix of pricing strategies emerge. And over time, he felt, this mix will shift towards models that customers are more comfortable with.

Just as there is a battery in a mobile phone even in a room with electricity, Sikka said some things will always be on-premise even when others shift to an on-demand cloud-based environment.

"The real challenge is within, in our inability to transform ourselves to change with the time. This is what keeps me awake at night," he said. One of the ways Sikka is trying to transform the company is by building a startup culture that encourages disruptive thinking.

Copyright © 2013 Times Internet Limited. All rights reserved.

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