I was speaking to a contractor I've known for a while earlier this week, he had recently joined SAP to work in business development to promote SAP Leonardo. I reached out to him with a pretty broad question: what is SAP Leonardo?
Just as he had been every other time we spoke, he was incredibly helpful. SAP Leonardo is a digital innovation system, designed to integrated SAP systems with hot new technologies like Big Data, Machine Learning or the Internet of Things, this would be SAP's own-brand-competitor to IBM Watson.
This would rest on 5 key pillars: Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine Learning, Data Analytics and Blockchain. All areas traditionally associated separately from SAP, a breakthrough in this space would be huge for the organisation.
But, as my old contact explained more and more about what the technology could do, in quite specific example scenarios, I found myself having a flashback to a few years prior when HANA was released. The thought went something like this: this sounds all well and good, but do customers really need it, and will they have a clue what to do with it?
In the article attached, Jackie Hartman makes a good point.
SAP have never had an issue with marketing their products and making them look attractive (click here for a classic example of SAP making the digital board room look easy as pie and a must-have to increase productivity), but, when HANA came out they did have some issues clearly convincing customers on subjective benefits.
I'm left to ponder will the same happen with Leonardo?...
Hartman said she also believes SAP needs to do a much better job of explaining what Leonardo is and how companies can benefit from it. "I would not be able to clearly articulate how we would take advantage of it, or how Jack Link's would benefit from it," she said. "I've certainly seen a lot of media around it, but I don't have a clear storyline on what it would mean to Jack Link's."