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?...