Charlie Rose, whose United States Public Broadcasting System (PBS) TV show is described as a broadcast that "engages America's best thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, business leaders, scientists and other newsmakers in one-on-one interviews and round-table discussions," interviewed Leo Apotheker of SAP and Harvard Business School professor Andrew McAfee in a segment that aired January 6, 2009 (recorded November 20, 2008).
In a wide ranging interview, Apotheker said
Rose said SAP was the leading business software provider and asked Apotheker how SAP hoped to maintain that lead. The answer: SAP leads and continues to lead "because that is all they do" (as opposed to major competitors such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle that are in other software businesses). Not that I would expect Rose to follow the IT market this closely, but in reality SAP is the leader in the ERP applications software market, not the overall business software market, and not even in the overall applications software market.
Apotheker's point is a good one, however: let's see if SAP sticks to its knitting as the CEO torch is passed to him in the near future. But on the other hand, if they do concentrate on just one type of software, they run the risk of being acquired.
The Apotheker/McAfee interview can be viewed here. Rose has also interviewed Bill Gates (12 times), Larry Ellison (5 times) and other IT luminaries in the past.
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