SAP: Leo Apotheker on Charlie Rose (PBS)

leo_apothekerLast night, I caught an interview on PBS betweeen Charlie Rose and Leo Apotheker, co-CEO of SAP,  and Andrew McAfee, a faculty and researcher in IT at Harvard Bus. School.  It was very interesting to get Leo’s take on the world, business, and SAP.  You can check out the interview here.  I highly recommend it for those of you who live in the SAP cosmos.  Rose does such an excellent job of interviewing his guests; he always seems to get to the heart of what they’re about.  

Here are a few tidbits from the interview to whet your appetite:

  • Despite the economic crisis really hitting its stride here in early 2009, SAP isn’t experiencing a massive slowdown…still expecting double digit growth.  Apotheker did dodge around the questions around recent financial results lest he wind up in some sort of regulatory manhunt.
  • Apotheker said that companies are continuing to invest in big IT, even in the face of economic calamity because of the feeling that it’s “now or never.”  It’s sort of an innovate or die mentality.
  • Apotheker also said that in competition with other ERP vendors, price isn’t the deciding factor.  I thought he almost seemed a little over zealous, to the point of almost  implying it’s not much of a factor at all.  But, that would explain a lot.
  • Rose asked if SAP would be a different company 5 years from now.  The answer:  of a necessity.  Business, said Leo, would be fundamentally different 5 years from.  He sees businesses moving to a network model, where companies work together in small or medium networks.  

If this is your cup of lager, then you really should check it out.  You might even get hooked on Charlie Rose too.



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