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Walldorf, center of the ERP world

SAP, like the Catholic Church, is clearly in favor of Aristotle's geocentric worldview, while the rest of the world is probably more inclined to the heliocentric worldview, also called the Copernican worldview.
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine
23 February 2023
Internal Communication
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

I had an interesting discussion in Walldorf in early February about the upcoming Sapphire series of events in Orlando (USA), Barcelona (Spain) and São Paulo (Brazil). Unsurprisingly, my SAP interlocutor argued that it was only necessary to visit one location because SAP was putting on the same program everywhere. There could be no better way to express SAP's ego-centric attitude!

If it were just about SAP, then it could also be argued that visiting Sapphire is just a waste of resources anyway. SAP has excellent websites, a comprehensive knowledge database on the Internet and, in cooperation with the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, excellent online learning courses. Everything an existing SAP customer needs to know about SAP is delivered to his or her doorstep free of charge via a browser. So why board a plane and book a hotel room?

This geocentric view of the community by SAP explains both the plan to stage each Sapphire as a copy on different continents, and the recommendation that ultimately only one of these three locations needs to be visited. The only surprise is why Walldorf is not immediately proclaimed as the center of the ERP world, around which everything revolves, and Aristotle becomes the patron saint of Walldorfers or, somewhat disrespectfully, of SAPers - a Sapphire at SAP in Walldorf!

We know better: From the perspective of the SAP community, we live in a heliocentric IT world. The center is bits and bytes and business processes, not an IT provider. The IT provider can even be replaced from time to time. It therefore seems revealing when SAP sees itself as the focal point with topic leadership at a so-called customer event - and does not let the customers take the lead.

From a customer and community perspective, the three Sapphire locations - Orlando, Barcelona, and São Paulo - should be completely different events. SAP should rather offer a round trip with discounted admission prices! In Orlando, the North American SAP partners will set the tone together with ASUG (America SAP User Group). In Barcelona, visitors will meet the major European SAP partners together with the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG). And in São Paulo, the Latin American SAP community will come together and probably discuss quite different challenges than in Orlando and Barcelona.

Even if SAP itself has a similar offering all over the world and holds the same shows, the markets and the scene of the SAP community are very different. In Orlando and São Paulo, there is probably much more discussion of cloud computing than in Europe at Sapphire in Barcelona. In Latin America, we are observing a new beginning in many cases, while in Europe, release upgrades and hybrid systems are up for discussion. SAP should consider a Sapphire not as a geocentric but as a heliocentric world view and let the SAP community take the lead.

Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine

Peter M. Färbinger, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief E3 Magazine DE, US and ES (, AG, Freilassing (DE), E-Mail: and Tel. +49(0)8654/77130-21

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