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.