EnterpriseTalk with Vishal Sikka, SAP’s Chief Software Architect

While I was on vacation last week, PodTech put up a podcast with Vishal Sikka that we did a while back. I was at the table when John was talking with Vishal and it really was a fascinating conversation. Vishal is, as many of you no doubt already know, the Chief Software Architect for SAP and he is based here in Palo Alto (although I truly believe that after doing this for the last couple of years his citizenship may in fact be from Lufthansa). The thing I like about Vishal is that he is not a longtime SAP employee (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) and he is disarmingly candid and objective… when he speaks he is not just repeating talking points somebody else prepared, he is speaking from what he believes.

The reason why I did these podcasts with PodTech (and more are coming) is to bring some attention to the executives we have who are not on our Executive Board. You get enough quotes and soundbites from Shai and Leo, how about hearing from people like Vishal and Richard Campione, Nimish Mehta, Dennis Moore, Jim McMurray, Bob Stutz, Doug Merritt and so on. People like Vishal have tremendous influence within SAP but often don’t have the industry profile that executives in other companies enjoy. Part of it is no doubt the insular nature of our culture, but the larger culprit is the impression that media and industry commentators have that anything worth watching at SAP is happening in Germany. Not the case.

UPDATE: In the comment below Thomas is spot on right. In my post vacation haze I was very remiss in suggesting that these podcasts are focused on SAP people in Palo Alto. The fact is that SAP has a very deep talent pool that spans the entire globe. While I featured a first podcast and made reference to people in Palo Alto (although Jim McMurray is based in Atlanta and isn’t part of Labs), the fact is that it is my intention to tap into our leadership team globally for these podcasts. My apologies to any of my colleagues in Germany who were offended by my post.

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8 thoughts on EnterpriseTalk with Vishal Sikka, SAP’s Chief Software Architect

  1. Jeff,
    great to see you using podcasts to reach a broader audience, and get some voices out there other than the usual exec suspects. Perhaps I’m being a bit oversensitive, but there is a more than a touch of palo alto is the centre of cool, and walldorf is where the boring old enterprisey stuff like erp happened in your post. I dont like it.

    SAP has hired some fabulous new talent in the US and around the world. SAP’s future success is based on combining the strengths and depth of the German development organisation with the best the globe has to offer.

    I’m disappointed that your list doesnt include folks that built R/3 into the world’s most successful business appilcation in the world. You make it sound like being at SAP before Netweaver is uncool.

    Your blog is read a lot internally, and I see your part of role to strengthen the bridges between walldorf and palo alto, not diss the folks who work in the spargel fields.

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