Hasso Plattner seems right at home in Silicon Valley. SAP, which he helped found 35 years ago and where he is still head of the supervisory board, is best known for its stolid R/3 suite of enterprise applications. But Plattner displays the same sort of restless impatience and frustration with the limitations of the software status quo that are apparent in today’s generation of software entrepreneurs. Is that enough to push SAP faster along the road of one of the most important product transitions it has ever faced – particularly now that protege and one-time heir apparent Shai Agassi has quit?
When I met him earlier this week at SAP’s labs in the Valley, Plattner was fizzing over with what he calls his "new idea" – the on-demand software (codenamed A1S, due to appear next year) that is aimed at small and medium-sized companies, but which also looks like a blueprint for the way much of the business software market will one day work. Read more