"SAP SE CFO Luka Mucic, a 20 year veteran of the company and a member of its executive board, says the pace of the company’s software development cycle is four times faster than it was a few years ago.
“A couple of years ago, SAP would have released a major update to their core business suite modules every two years. Nowadays we are down to half-yearly development cycles,” Mr. Mucic said.
The rise of the cloud, the breakdown of massive enterprise applications into smaller components and automation are driving improvements, according to Mr. Mucic. He made his comments during a recent meeting with Wall Street Journal editors.Here are edited highlights of the wide-ranging conversation:
Do you see smaller companies and startups showing up in a more competitive way when you are trying to win a deal with a customer?
"It depends. Customers are looking for as much integrity as possible in their over-arching IT architecture. Therefore we talk to customers in terms of a strategic engagement. They try to drive end-to-end digitization of their entire process chain. These smaller companies really cannot participate in that conversation … If you have a technical decision-making process that is driven by a given line of business and that is squarely going into the niche where some of these smaller competitors are, let’s say, strong, then you might face very credible competition." Mr. Mucic