If you think SAP equals ERP, Bill McDermott would like a few minutes to set you straight about the 2012 version of the software giant, which he claims is in the midst of "an intellectual renewal." McDermott has been co-CEO -- along with Jim Hagemann Snabe -- of SAP since 2010 and has helped broaden the company's strategy beyond traditional applications and analytics to the cloud, mobile, big data and a bet-the-business focus on real-time computing with the HANA in-memory database at the forefront.
In this installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, McDermott spoke to Computerworld Senior Editor Patrick Thibodeau and IDG Enterprise Chief Content Officer John Gallant spoke with McDermott about SAP's slow start in the cloud market -- which ramped up dramatically with the $3.4 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors -- its efforts to take database share from rival Oracle, and how HANA changes everything. McDermott also discussed why having two CEOs -- which has sometimes been a recipe for disaster in the business world -- works uniquely well for SAP.
One of the key goals of the CEO Interview Series is to ensure that IT leaders understand in depth the strategies of key tech companies. So let's begin with your perspective on SAP's strategy, where SAP is going and how that differs from some of the major competitors that you face.