The Village View

Monday, April 30, 2007

New SAP blogger: Amit Chatterjee on GRC

Amit Chatterjee, who founded SAP's GRC business unit and is one of the unit's driving forces, finally launched his blog today. His blog should be interesting certainly to those of you interested in understanding SAP's strategy on Governance, Risk and Compliance, but also those who want insight into the (personal) musings of one of SAP's senior execs. I'm glad he's gotten engaged in the conversation - we had a conversation around his blogging when I first joined the group a couple of months ago. Amit, like many of us (don't get me started on Blogger) hit a few hitches with the initial launch of his blog, but mentioned that speaking with the folks in the Sapphire Bloggers' Corner really reiterated the importance of this medium for him. So, go check out Amit's blog and give him some link love.

I was completely prepared to abandon this effort, but my company, SAP had a conference last week (SAPPHIRE in Atlanta), and I met some other bloggers, and realized that blogging was the equivalent of talk radio for software. I was impressed by the number of bloggers, and also the varient in quality and approach to make their noise (voice) heard. Much like the days of listening to political pundits or even that recent shock DJ that got fired, each blog will undoubtedly share their point of view. Being a man with several points of view, this medium seems a natural home for me.

But what is different than talk radio, is that listener, or in this case the reader, has significant power. the “wisdom” does not end with my blog, but is rather the beginning of the refinement or rejection of a germinating idea that the source blog put forth. Hence I am even more excited about getting my ideas out there so they can be torn apart and then rebuilt, I want to engage the blogosphere for their wisdom on what is going on, and yes, amazingly even advice on what to do better.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

SAP GRC and Office of the CFO podcasts: Overview

As I've posted earlier, I switched roles at SAP and am now in a business development role in the Governance, Risk and Compliance business unit. We had a huge "village" or display area at Sapphire (although as mentioned, yours truly was at an outpost pod, demo-ing our Sarbanes-Oxley solutions). There was a lot of interest in our village and I think that we were one of the more popular areas of the show (even if we were at the end of the half-mile show floor).
Anyway, Thomas had this cool microphone attachment for his iPod Nano and was doing some podcasting. I set him up with two conversations with my boss, Denise Broady. Denise has been at SAP for 6 years (coming over with the TopTier acquisition) and leads the Office of the CFO Center of Excellence (which is a business development group with responsibilities for a set of solutions targeted at the CFO's organization: Access Control, Process Control, Enterprise Risk Management, Global Trade Solutions, Environmental Compliance, Employee Health & Safety and eSourcing, with likely more to come).

In these podcasts, she does a good job of explaining SAP's holistic GRC strategy and a bit about how we are going to market with these products. Break out the popcorn, it's good stuff.

Overview of SAP GRC

Overview of the Office of CFO and Corporate Performance Management

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Abducted by aliens

21 days, that's how long it's been since i've lasted post. 3 weeks is the longest I've gone by a long shot since I started this blog a year and a bit ago. Thanks to those of you who reached out and asked me "what the f**k?"
So, I have two main excuses: 1) mental exhaustion and 2) Sapphire. Regarding 1) the new GRC job is great, but is really keeping me busy and on the road. Been on the road at least a day and mostly more for the last 12 weeks; I was in 3 cities the week before last: Atlanta, Baltimore and Chicago. When I get back to the Courtyard by Marriott (of which i'm becoming an increasingly bigger fan) I do a couple hours worth of work and crash. 2) Sapphire - just leaving Atlanta now. Was at one of the pod's demoing the SAP GRC solution. We had a whole GRC Village (muliple demo pods) but I was out in the Life Sciences area for some reason.
Sapphire was great - 15,000 attendees. Really impressive. Lots of customers, partners and SAP-ers. Interestingly, SAP is so open that I counted 3 (tres!) of my GRC competitors. oh well.
Bloggers corner was in full effect. I managed to make it to the Bloggers' dinner. I saw Den, Jason W, Jason C., Dan F, Craig, Thomas Jerry et al. Also, got to meet a bunch of the SAP big wigs; which was pretty cool.
Got lot's more to say and i'll promise to post again soon. Now I gotta run and catch my flight so i can get out of Atlanta.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

internet-enabled looting

This is actually pretty unbelievable. Someone placed an ad on Craigslist and advertised the contents of a house.... for free. Problem is, the owner of the house didn't place the ad, or even know about it.

Laurie Raye, a landlord in Tacoma, Wash., now has firsthand experience at Web-engineered looting. She received a call a few days ago from a neighbor, telling her that a rental property she owned was being burglarized.

By the time Raye arrived, her front lawn was littered with unwanted personal items. Inside the house, the water heater, light fixtures, newly fitted vinyl windows and the kitchen sink had been pried loose and carted away.

I'm sure much will be made of the fact that the ad was placed on Craigslist and folks (read politicians trying to scare people) will push for more regulation. However, I basically agree with this take:

Internet usage advocates say that the use of Craigslist is not in any way an indictment of online advertising.

"A situation like this is ugly, but the fact that it is on the Internet is incidental," said Rebecca Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which supports Internet anonymity. "Craigslist is a great forum for a lot of people, and it's always unfortunate that there are a few bad apples."

Why Cognos Loves Oracle

I still have serious doubts about the vitality of the 3rd party Business Intelligence vendors. I heard the Cognos CEO speak last year and just don't find the argument that a large number of customers want independent BI vendors to be that compelling. Having said that, you gotta give Cognos credit for what looks like a good quarter. Thought the point around how the Hyperion acquisition might help Cognos to be interesting:

Ironically, the Oracle-Hyperion deal might actually benefit Cognos. Hyperion customers are probably concerned that Oracle could rework Hyperion's product line to fit better with its own databases and business applications. That could mean higher costs for Hyperion customers, should they eventually need to migrate to Oracle's offerings, making Cognos's rival products seem more appealing.

The Oracle deal also validates BI's importance and establishes a valuation benchmark. Hyperion sold for 3.4 times sales, compared to the 3.1 times sales at which Cognos currently trades.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Oracle's misleading math Part deux

Jason Corsello points to two similar recent Oracle HR adverts with different sets of numbers:

Oracle’s recent advertisement in the March 12, 2007, copy of Workforce Magazine stating…

  • 140 Countries
  • 12,000 Customers
  • 27 Million Workers

....the March 2007 copy of Talent Management Magazine which states…

  • 135 Countries
  • 12,500 Customers
  • 30 Million Workers
Jason is a nice guy and gives Oracle the benefit of the doubt as "a big Oops." I'm less charitable given that I have seen not a few ads in which Oracle takes liberties with numbers to further a (often false) claim. My sense is that when you're making this sh*t up, you're bound to slip and be inconsistent. Although Oracle claims to be #1 in, I'll go with what Jason says:
"my recent industry data (as well as some other analyst firms) suggests Oracle is actually #2 in HR Applications behind SAP." He always did seem like a bright guy.

Dennis also picked up on Jason's post and is running a poll on whether Oracle "makes[s] is up as it goes along."