SAP Now Turning to a Wookey to Head Up On-Demand Offering

I’ve been reading a lot about SAP’s recent hiring of John Wookey, the former Oracle executive that’s now in charge of SAP’s on-demand architecture. My reason for blogging on the topic is partially personnel, as I’ve met John Wookey on a number of occasions while attending Oracle events as an editor at CRM magazine.

He’s an all-around great guy to speak to, and needless to say as knowledgeable a person as you’ll meet when it comes to enterprise software. Specifically, I remember he once told that he loves a good challenge.

Well, he’s gotten one by joining SAP as executive VP of large enterprise on-demand. Then again, this was the man who was in charge of heading up Oracle’s never ending, hit-parade of heterogeneous product offerings acquired via acquisitions, so he’s got the experience to back it up.

Among many problems, it will be interesting to see how Wookey helps SAP market, sell and rationalize SAP’s Business ByDesign on-demand product. In addition, Business ByDesign is targeted for the mid-market, so how’s SAP planning on addressing the enterprise on-demand market, if for nothing else, Wookey’s title-sake?

But at the same time I give SAP credit, because as Salesforce.com and NetSuite are starting to prove, running a strictly SaaS-based product offering can lead to razor-thin margin lines. SAP is trying to avoid that, and like most of their strategies surrounding their product offerings, they’re taking their time to make sure they get it done right, which you can hardly say about many software vendors that populate this market.

But if personnel experiences account for anything, Wookey is certainly the right man for the job.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself, but the guy does have a great last name…