Today is my last day at SAP, one of the established leaders in the enterprise software industry. Tomorrow I will be joining NextPrinciples, a small company in the emerging field of Social CRM software. If all goes well, NextPrinciples will be one of the new leaders in the next generation of enterprise software companies that will help transform how brands engage with their customers.
But I am getting ahead of myself…
Over the last eight years at SAP, I ‘ve had the privilege of working with some of the smartest people in the industry. Since the time I joined, SAP more than doubled its global workforce and entered – and in many cases became a leader in – new markets such as business analytics, mobile, cloud, database, and now social. I have been fortunate enough to play my small role in shaping this transformation.
I always talk about my three very different chapters at SAP, starting with my stint at SAP’s Corporate Strategy Group where I was involved in numerous strategic initiatives and helped drive topics as diverse as our internal HR strategy, to reshaping our product portfolio strategy, to our early initiatives in web 2.0 (does anyone still remember this term?), to the acquisition of Business Objects back in 2008.
The 2nd chapter began after the Business Objects acquisition, where I got the opportunity to join the new ‘startup’ within SAP and helped drive the growth of our SaaS analytics business. This chapter was a bit of a homecoming to me, as I had spent the first 10+ years of my career in this area – today I would be called a data scientist.
The 3rd and final chapter began when I joined SAP’s Marketing organization in 2009 to help drive SAP’s transformation into a social business. Through the past 3+ years, I have been involved in numerous initiatives and have made my fair share of mistakes. It is precisely through this experience I have come to understand what works and how to drive this transformation within large companies.
The Social CRM opportunity
I have spent the last few years studying the Social CRM market, and if you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know I don’t believe in the social enterprise. While I truly believe this movement will transform the way businesses operate, I believe for us to succeed, we have to strike ‘social whatever’ from our vocabulary.
Which brings me to my last point…
The Social CRM market is evolving fast, and there are many established Social CRM solution providers. However, there are very few that share my view that social is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. Last but not least, I believe NextPrinciples’ strong product offering and raving fan customers are a force to be reckoned with.
I have every intention to continue blogging here, and I hope to be able to share many more lessons drawing on our increasing customer base.
Let the games begin, I am truly excited and look forward to the next chapter in my career….