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Technology / Software

SAP’s Snabe calls Bill the new ‘product guy’

Outgoing SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe said he is confident the company will continue to innovate following his departure next year.

Snabe’s keynote speech at the SAP UK & Ireland User Group Conference in Birmingham on Monday covered the future roadmap of the firm beginning next year, and Snabe revealed that he had turned down a meeting at Downing Street to come to the annual event.

It will be Snabe’s last as co-CEO, with him stepping down in May 2014 to leave his co-chief exec Bill McDermott holding the reins.

The news of Snabe’s coming departure has worried some, with his focus on product being seen as key to SAP’s success since 2010 with the introduction of the in-memory Hana platform.

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But Snabe used his keynote to praise McDermott and others, claiming the company will carry on his work.

He told the audience: "I believe that leadership is not just about putting the company on track for success, but it’s also about making sure that you’re no longer needed.

"You will see that Bill has played a sales-oriented role because I did the innovation role. But Bill is very strong on the vision and the innovation as well."

He also called head of products Vishal Sikka "a wizard" before confirming that SAP’s current offerings will all be moved to the cloud next year on Hana.

Chief Innovations Officer Adrian Simpson told CBR earlier that cloud subscriptions brought in $1bn revenue this year, and that the firm hopes to double that by 2015.

"We are basically seeing a situation where in the public cloud space many of the CRM topics, most of HR, most of procurement, and some finance is moving to the cloud," said Snabe.

"We are supporting all of them but we will not take away our on-premise versions. But a lot of innovation will be in leveraging the cloud’s capabilities."
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