With enough savings, anyone can buy a Porsche. Just look at SAP, which has acquired a small selection of acquired companies: Sybase, Qualtrics, Signavio, and LeanIX. But mastering a Porsche and being able to drive it is a completely different story.
Earlier this year, I was invited to the Porsche Experience Center at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, a motor racing circuit in Germany. There were three options for journalists: a ride in a simulator, a real ride in a Porsche, and a ride-along with a Porsche instructor. I chose the latter and all my muscles were sore the next day.
The Porsche instructor drove a Taycan Turbo S with a maximum output of 560 kW or 761 hp and accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds. But for me the deceleration was even more impressive. The brakes were literally breathtaking. On the short straights, we accelerated to well over 100 km/h, only to turn into the corner at the very last second. I trusted the instructor, who knew the circuit like the back of his hand. But with the strength of the centrifugal forces, it was quite the struggle not to not off my seat and keep my hands and facial muscles under control.
Even at the wheel of a Porsche, a good 100 km/h would probably have been the maximum, and I would never have been able to push the brakes to the limit. But with an expert I was able to experience what is possible in terms of vehicular technology. For all Porsche fans and potential buyers of a Taycan: the acceleration from 0 to 100 at 2.8 seconds will likely not be improved in the near future. What Porsche engineers are currently working on, however, are even better brakes, i.e. deceleration values, and energy recovery (recuperation). So nothing will stand in the way of my muscle ache becoming even worse. But I will probably never own a Porsche of my own—I have too much respect for this technical wonder!
But respect is precisely what SAP lacks! With its pockets full of money, SAP bought everything that glittered and matched the current trend in IT. Did ex-SAP co-CEOs Jim Hagemann Snabe (featured left in the image below) and Bill McDermott (right) truly understand what they were buying with Sybase? Sybase was cannibalized; SAP kept the databases, and the rest was sold. Qualtrics was swallowed up, including its management. But SAP quickly had to admit that it had no idea about customer experience management and was therefore not in a position to manage the American company properly. Bill McDermott failed and his successor, SAP CEO Christian Klein, sold Qualtrics.
But SAP CEO Klein was not able to acquire the Munich-based company Celonis, so he purchased the Berlin-based start-up Signavio out of spite. As another department in the SAP universe, Signavio is currently eking out a miserable existence. There is hardly anything left of the once innovative start-up. And Christian Klein has done it again: SAP plans to acquire LeanIX by the end of the year. LeanIX’s focus is enterprise architecture management, another area in SAP is unfamiliar with. From today's perspective, it is doubtful whether Christian Klein will be able to lead this start-up without intellectual property.