After news leaked Friday that SAP AG had hired some major talent away from its rivals, the company officially announced Monday that it has, over the past 18 months, lured more than 200 workers from the competition.
The new hires span all levels of SAPs organizational chart, from senior executives to sales.
The real news is where folks are coming from: Siebel Systems Inc., Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc.
SAP also lured former deputy CTO Gordon Simpson from BEA Systems Inc.—an interesting coup given SAPs goal of transforming itself from an applications company to an infrastructure player, a huge undertaking that requires no small amount of integration know-how coupled with some pretty hefty skill sets.
Simpson, SAPs new vice president of Applied Technology in SAPs Product & Technology Group, headed BEAs integration division.
Prior to that, he worked as the principal application architect at Vitria Technology Corp., which develops application and business process integration software.
In his new role, Simpson will oversee SAPs architecture work on its ESA (enterprise services architecture) strategy and Business Process Platform—really the cornerstone initiatives as SAP works to position itself as for the next decade.
A good number of new hires—at least the ones SAP is talking about—are being snatched up by the P&T Group, headed by executive board member Shai Agassi, who himself has played no small role in turning SAP around—in image, if nothing else.
Agassis group is tasked with all current software development, including NetWeaver, SAPs integration stack (BPP development is considered emergent and falls under the aegis of executive board member Peter Zenke).
Despite the fact that employees of tier one software developers job hop among rivals about as often as it rains in Seattle, SAP is gaining some valuable insight with its latest hires.
Particularly as it digs in to keep its top spot in the business applications market out of Oracles reach.
As former vice president of Research & Design in Oracles Usability/User Interface Design division, Dan Rosenberg was responsible for developing interfaces for Oracles applications and database software.
Rosenberg is now taking on a similar role at SAP. As senior vice president of User Experience with the P&T Group, Rosenberg will be responsible for the “user experience” for all SAPs products, including NetWeaver.
Nimish Mehta, who came from Siebel via Oracle, is now the senior vice president of Enterprise Information Management, tasked with IT strategy and product development.
Mike Mayer, former senior director of International Projects at Oracle, has taken on the role of vice president of IDA (International Development Association) Project Development.
Mayer is now responsible for driving IT infrastructure projects through international development groups like the World Bank.
Doug Merritt, former vice president of Human Capital Management at PeopleSoft—by way of Quest Software, which Merritt called home prior to joining SAP—is now responsible for suite optimization, which boils down to adding new and simplified functionality to SAPs misunderstood mySAP Business Suite.
Bob Stutz, who headed development of Siebels vertically oriented applications, is now a senior vice president in the P&T Group. Hell lead the Strategic Application Development group.
Former vice president of development for PeopleSofts Enterprise Performance Management software John Zepecki is the new vice president of products for SAPs xApps, where hell oversee xApps development.
Richard Campione, former Seibel group vice president and general manager of the Financial Services and Public Sector businesses at Siebel, will now be responsible for creating a consolidated view in the market of SAPs software across all industries—no small feat given users confusion around SAPs various offerings.
The wave of new talent coming to SAP is, according to analysts, indicative of the companys evolving perception in the marketplace.
Once considered a behemoth company unwilling—and unable—to change with the times, SAP is doing some shape-shifting.
These people are “drawn because of SAPs market position,” said Josh Greenbaum, principal of Enterprise Applications Consulting, in Berkeley, Calif.
“Whats important is that this announcement follows relatively closely on SAPs [partnership] announcements with IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, EMC and Hewlett-Packard. SAP is turning into a real kind of focal point for a lot of energy for the high tech industry.”
The partnerships, announced at SAPs annual Sapphire user conference in May, boil down to a number of key software vendors agreeing to license SAPs Enterprise Services Architecture for potential development opportunities.