Now he is gone, Lars Dalgaard. He was my personal hope for SAP and in my opinion the driving force behind the cloud strategy of the company from Walldorf, which has received more and more momentum in the last month. But not only for the Cloud Dalgaard has revamped SAP, even cultural it would have been good for the company to have him longer in their own ranks. Or was it maybe exactly this problem why he had to go after such a short time.
Credible positive energy
The cloud thoughts SAP has incorporated externally by the akquisiton of SuccessFactors and with its founder and CEO Lars Dalgaard. After taking over the Dane was the person in authority for the SAP Cloud area and the driving force behind the SAP cloud services. And he has done this job very well. In his keynote, during the Sapphire Now 2012, in which he introduced the new SAP cloud strategy, Dalgaard presented himself as explosive entrepreneur who did not discarded his startups genes by far. On the contrary, with his motivation, he brought a fresh breeze in the established group based in Walldorf, Germany.
On my retrospective on the Sapphire Now, 2012 i had written (only in German): “It is to be hoped for Dalgaard and especially for SAP, that he can realize his cloud vision and that he may hope for open doors with his startup character. Because SAP is far away from what can be logically described as a startup.
Different corporate cultures
Has precisely this circumstance for Dalgaard or better SAP become the fate? Lars Dalgaard resigned from his executive position on the first of June 2013, has left SAP and entered as a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He will continue to be available for SAPs cloud business as an advisor for the cloud governance board .
I only can speculate at this point. Although I do not personally know Dalgaard. But his positive energy that he exudes during his lectures, evidence of someone who knows what he wants and have a clear focus. Admittedly, I’m not a SAP expert with regard to the corporate culture. However, many good people already questionably broken at SAP. Just take Shai Agassi as one example.
— Stefan Ried (@StefanRied) 3. Juni 2013
Quo vadis, SAP?
To moor an entire company on a single and also purchased externally person is exaggerated. However, I take the view that the loss of Lars Dalgaard could have a significant impact on the cloud business of SAP. One remember the very rocky start of SAP in the cloud area with its product line “SAP Business By Design”, which had not deserves the term cloud solution in its first version and which was a real letdown. With Business By Design 4.0 SAP has – under the direction of Lars Dalgaard – once again started from scratch and the train began to move.
It is desirable for SAP that they do not lose this “Dalgaard mentality” in order to remain competitive in the cloud market. Because one should not forget that a cloud business must be conducted differently as a traditional software company. Just compare Amazon and Google. The same also Microsoft needed to understand and learned to reinvent themselves. SAP was – with Lars Dalgaard – at least on the right track, so far.