Salesforce's Superpod shows big clients want to be treated differently, says SAP cloud chief

Customers wanting to take advantage of the Superpod will receive their own hardware stack and will not have their data sitting alongside other companies

Salesforce's recent tie-up with HP to provide large enterprises with their own private stack in Salesforce's data center is an indication that big clients want to be treated differently in the cloud.

This is according to SAP's VP of strategy cloud solutions, Sven Denecken, who spoke to Computerworld UK at SAP's UK & Ireland User Group conference in Birmingham this week.

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was very careful not to use the word" private" following the announcement at Dreamforce last week, but customers wanting to take advantage of the "Superpod" will receive their own hardware stack and will not have their data sitting alongside other companies.

"I think there is a lot of push from big clients to be treated differently. Something that I see in our discussions is how you can still preserve the positives of a cloud portfolio, like agility and fast releases in innovation, though have a private addition," said Denecken.

"There are clients who want that. I don't think cloud computing has made the life easier for companies and for IT because landscapes are heterogenous, they get more heterogenous. The question is what can you do to help them integrate in a hybrid environment?"

He added: "If you grow, sooner or later you hit that wall. Companies want to have more areas under their control -- they might care less if it is in their data center or my data center. Or more managed by a vendor, or less managed by a vendor. They want that flexibility."

The Superpod was a particularly interesting announcement from Salesforce, given that in the past Benioff has consistently expressed the view that private cloud environments, which aren't multi-tenant, are not "real" cloud environments.

Denecken added that a "rip and replace with cloud" approach for all areas of IT shouldn't be the focus for enterprises, they should be looking at complete end-to-end business processes and using cloud where appropriate.

"I just don't buy that all the benefits are in the cloud. This rip and replace won't work for too long. I think the world, for a very long time, will be hybrid. Certain areas will move to the cloud faster, but why do they move? Not because they believe in the hype of cloud but because they see the business value and benefits," he said.

"The reality is not simple, but let's talk business process. Let's not talk technology for technologies' sake. Cloud will be the better business enabler in many areas, but not in isolation. It has to come with what you are doing on-premise. I don't care if it's private, or whatever you want to call it."

This story, "Salesforce's Superpod shows big clients want to be treated differently, says SAP cloud chief" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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