SAP will assure customers at a conference that its products remain "in safe hands" following next year's departure of outgoing co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, according to an SAP UG CEO.
Snabe, who is due to step down in May 2014 after more than 20 years with the company and four years as co-CEO, will address around 1,000 delegates in a keynote speech at the conference in the ICC, Birmingham.
He will leave Bill McDermott to lead the company, but is widely considered to be the exec who ensured SAP focused on product development as well as sales.
Craig Dale, the chief executive of SAP UG UK & Ireland, told CBR that SAP will be keen to restate its commitment to product development at the event.
"My understanding is that everything is in good shape," he said. "They'll speak those assurances that the product's in safe hands going forward."
And Dale believes the theme of the event, Tomorrow's World, which outlines the importance of social media and mobility in shaping the future of business, will be seen through the lens of HANA, SAP's in-memory platform.
"SAP has built the future on HANA," he said. "It's not a case of if customers will move to HANA in future, it's a case of when. Understanding what that means for the business is probably a key theme."
Customers at the conference are set to discuss how they are using the platform, as well as what HANA offers them, while Dale confirmed the recent licensing announcement which enables customers to move parts of their on-premise licenses to the cloud will also be a topic of interest.
"We have a whole cloud stream looking at those subjects and specifically at the CRM side but more around getting the big data from social networks and collating and leveraging that," he added.
SAP last month announced an agreement with SAS to incorporate the latter's business analytics technology into HANA, and vice versa.
Another focus during the three-day conference will be on educating customers to get as much use out of their current investment in SAP as possible, said Dale.
"We're balancing the programme around extracting value and one of our workshops looks at that in details," he said. "Sometimes people forget what SAP standard will do for them."
The conference takes place from November 24 to November 26.
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