MADRID: SAP co-chief executive Bill McDermott has strongly urged customers to adopt cloud software in order to take advantage of the benefits of big data and to cut hardware costs.
"We now have 17 million users running software in the cloud. This is more than any other company in the world. SAP is all about the cloud," said McDermott at SAP's annual Sapphire customer and partner event in Madrid.
"Everything we do is cloud enabled because you should not have to clobber any unnecessary hardware cost."
McDermott referred to Siemens as an example for customers to follow. Siemens has 400,000 employees using SAP SuccessFactors Talent Management, he claimed.
McDermott said the cloud will allow customers to do big data analytics relatively cheaply.
"You can reduce the cost of looking at big data by removing data that is not adding value and by moving to the cloud," he added. "If you want to run your whole company on the cloud, you can do it with SAP."
The remarks are a strong statement for SAP, considering it has a large traditional customer base, many of which tend to be slow to swap their on-premise software for cloud alternatives.
Until now SAP has always maintained that it would support customers equally, whether they use on-premise software, cloud versions, or a hybrid combination of the two.
The firm, still will no doubt, but now it is encouraging customers to rid themselves of their hardware.
SAP has beefed up its cloud strategy over the last year, from its sole cloud product aimed at small businesses, Business ByDesign, to a huge cloud portfolio.
It was only in October last year that SAP customers reported being greatly confused by the SAP cloud roadmap, according to its user group.
And in May SAP launched a host of new cloud computing applications, and established a new cloud business unit, to which it assigned 5,000 staff, that will focus on designing and delivering cloud solutions.