Back in September, SAP announced the acquisition of KXEN, an advanced analytics company that focuses on the predictive space. I recently wrapped up a mini-tour of Asia-Pacific Japan with Shekhar Iyer, our Global Vice President for Business Intelligence, Visualizations, and Predictive to talk to analysts, partners and customers in Singapore, India and Japan about the acquisition and what it means for SAP and more importantly, for our customers. Here’s the story.
Most people I’m connected to on LinkedIn (4,448 to be exact) know that I’m a pretty active user. I was the 54,622nd person to join LinkedIn, so I’ve been around almost since the beginning. If you want you can find your member number as it is the number embedded in your LinkedIn profile URL (after “id=”).
When I first joined, there wasn’t a lot you could do, but LinkedIn has done an amazing job of innovating while growing to over quarter billion users as of this past June. That’s why it’s still my go-to tool for staying connected and engaged with my network, and increasingly, my main destination for consuming business content.
At SAP Insider in Singapore last year, we had a little fun with rubber ducks that turned into something of a meme for the conference. My keynote included a rubber duck and the social media lounge featured a flotilla of yellow rubber ducks floating in a glass tank.
Afterwards, I started to see rubber ducks cropping up at various SAP events all over the world, so at this year’s Singapore Insider event, the ducks were back in full force, prompting a few people around the globe to ask me for an explanation.
When I talk about analytics, I often use the word ‘journey’. I also like to talk about “getting a duck in the water” meaning, just picking a project and getting started. I think these two metaphors best capture the experience of successful analytics deployments.
This is what I see again and again: Customers start by doing something limited in scope, usually to solve a specific business problem, and they get their analytics “sea legs.” The journey continues, and they begin to use analytics in ways that weren’t even on their radar when they started out. It only became possible because of experience gained on the journey and the ability to see things from a new vantage point.