Tag: SAP

SAP releases patches

The software maker which makes esoteric expensive business programmes which no one is really sure what they do, has patched vulnerabilities in its latest HANA software.

The holes had a high risk of giving hackers control over databases and business applications used to run big multinational firms.

Vulnerabilities in big business software are more lucrative to attackers as these tools store data and run transactions. The flaws were “zero day” vulnerabilities and were the most critical ever found in HANA.  For those who came in late, HANA runs SAP’s latest database, cloud and other more traditional business apps.

The holes were spotted by the insecurity outfit Onapsis which said that the vulnerabilities lay in a HANA component known as “User Self Service” (USS) which would allow malicious insiders or remote attackers to fully compromise vulnerable systems, without so much as valid usernames and passwords.

It reported 10 HANA vulnerabilities to SAP less than 60 days ago, which the German software maker fixed in near-record time.

The resulting patch issued by SAP on Tuesday was rated by it as 9.8 on a scale of 10, “very high” in terms of relative risk to its customers. SAP is releasing five HANA patches this week to fix a range of vulnerabilities uncovered in recent months.

Onapsis Chief Executive Mariano Nunez praised SAP for doing such a great job by releasing fixes much faster than in past situations.


SAP “patched” bug still has holes

bugThe expensive esoteric management software company which no-one is really sure what it does, SAP, is the subject of a US security alert over a vulnerability the firm disabled six years ago.

Apparently the hole still gives outside attackers remote control over older SAP systems if the software is not properly patched.

SAP fixed the problem, but left the decision over whether to switch off an easy access setting up to its customers.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) issued an alert to the security industry warning SAP customers what they need to do to plug the holes.

Onapsis, a firm that specialises in securing business applications from SAP and  Oracle said that dozens of companies have been exposed to these security gaps in recent years, and a far larger number of SAP customers remain vulnerable.

Onapsis chief executive Mariano Nunez said that most SAP customers are unaware that this is going on.

SAP, whose software acts as the corporate plumbing for many multinationals and which claims 87 percent of the top 2000 global companies as customers, disclosed the vulnerability in 2010 and has offered software patches to fix the flaw.

SAP issued a statement that the vulnerable feature was fixed when the company introduced the software update six years ago. All SAP applications released since then are free of this vulnerability.

However, SAP acknowledged that these changes were known to break customised software developments that many customers had implemented using older versions of SAP’s programming language.

The problem continues because a sizeable number of big SAP customers are known to depend on these older versions of the software that in many cases date back years, or in extreme examples, even decades.


SAP signs pact with Apple

maxresdefaultThe outfit which makes expensive management software, which no one is sure what it does, is partnering with the cargo cult which makes expensive shiny toys for those with more money than sense.

SAP has signed a deal with Apple which is part of yet another move by Jobs’ Mob to flog its expensive gear to businesses. Apple has already signed deals with IBM and Cisco in a desperate bid to get buisinesses to buy its expensive gear now that the Chinese are saying no. So far these moves have gone no-where so it has asked SAP to help.

SAP announced a broad partnership with Apple today to bring iOS to SAP’s enterprise customer base. Steve Lucas, president for SAP’s Digital Enterprise Platform says while it’s natural to see similarities between the IBM deals, there are major differences.

For a start SAP has been working closely with Apple to bring its “profound design sense to this endeavor.” The objective of this partnership is no less than to revolutionise work on the iPad and iPhone, Lucas says.

SAP has announced several programs to help push iOS to its customers starting with a new set of apps for the iPad and iPhone that take advantage of data stored in SAP tools. It’s also providing an iOS SDK for SAP HANA, its in-memory database product, allowing organizations to not only use the apps that SAP is building, but also giving them the opportunity to build their own custom apps using data stored in HANA.

SAP is also offering SAP Academy for iOS as a training ground for SAP programmers to learn to use the HANA iOS SDK.

While you might not see a natural fit between SAP and Apple, when the IBM partnership was launched in 2014, it certainly raised some eyebrows too, but by the end of last year the partnership had created 100 apps — and that number has surely increased since then.

SAP is also planning on building 100 apps. The apps and the SDK are not yet available, but they say they should start to trickle out in Beta later this year. Many of the apps are in progress, according to Lucas, but they are not ready to ship yet.


SAP faces slow down

disappointment-valleyThe maker of esoteric, expensive business software, which no one is quite sure what it does, is not making as much cash as the cocaine nose-jobs of Wall Street expected.

Europe’s largest software company, SAP warned late on Friday that first-quarter results would be weaker than expected due to slower sales of software licenses to corporate customers, particularly in Brazil and the United States.

Software license revenues fell 13 percent while the company’s newer, but lower-margin cloud software business grew 33 percent. Business customers are shifting to cloud-based software delivered over the Internet instead of relying on older software packages they install and run on in-house computers.

Chief Executive Bill McDermott said that America was a “little more lumpy in terms of the signing of contracts” and there is nothing worse than a lumpy super-power.

First-quarter operating profit, excluding special items, rose five percent to $1.25 billion. Analysts, on average, had been looking for a first-quarter operating profit, excluding special items, of £1.33 billion.

The company also reported revenue of $5.4 billion which was also a bit lower than expected.

SAP, whose customers include many of the world’s biggest multinational corporations, specializes in business applications ranging from accounting to human resources to supply-chain management.

McDermott said he has “perfect, clear confidence” that SAP can meet the full-year profit targets it had set out in January. He said some software licensing deals the company had expected to close last quarter spilled into the current second quarter.

Ongoing political and macroeconomic instability in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, hurt first-quarter results. North America, coming off a very strong fourth quarter, had a slower start to the year, SAP said in a statement.


SAP wants more autistics

SAP logoThe maker of expensive business software, which no-one really knows what it does, wants to hire more people on the autistic spectrum to work for it.

The company said it needs employees who think differently. It has been trailing a scheme since May 2013, dubbed Autism at Work. This aimed at recruiting and hiring adults on the autism spectrum.

The programme was such a success, SAP is currently working to expand it, with the goal of having one percent of its total workforce, or 650 people, who fall on the spectrum by 2020.

José Velasco, head of the Autism at Work program at SAP said the programme has shown tremendous growth with pilot programs in India, Ireland, Canada, the U.S. and Germany, and it has begun pilots in the Czech Republic and Brazil.

In March 2015 there were 40 employees on the spectrum as part of the programme and SAP expects to have 100 by the end of 2015.

The programme aims to tackle some of the biggest hurdles people with autism face. Velasco said that it was not the intelligence, skills and technical expertise necessary to thrive in the IT industry, but the lack of social skills and communication abilities that were critical to getting through the screening and interview process.

“People on the spectrum don’t tend to interview well. We have to ‘flip the script’ and ensure the screening and interview processes are tailored to their needs so they’re comfortable and can really allow their incredible talents and skills to shine,” Velasco said.

SAP is not the only one working on a programme like this. Microsoft started something similar in 2015. HP is piloting something similar in Australia.

SAP claims its cloud is on target

SAP logoThe mysterious German software company which makes expensive business software is doing better than expected.

SAP has been putting a ton of money investing in the cloud and it said that its strong third quarter results were the result.

In a statement, SAP reported a 19 percent rise in third-quarter operating profit to $1.54 billion, confirming results it pre-announced last week.

Chief Executive Bill McDermott claimed that the reason why SAP didn’t raise the guidance is because it is an annual guidance and the biggest part of the annual operating plan is still to be determined based on SAP’s fourth-quarter.

SAP has a target to increase cloud and software revenue by eight to 10 percent in constant currencies during 2015. McDermott thinks he is on track to do that.

The company is doing a lot better than IBM in getting its cloud act together, but is still not as big a market player as Salesforce or Amazon,


SAP is quids in

SAP logoThe maker of extremely expensive business management software, and which no-one knows what it actually does, SAP reported a 19 percent rise in third-quarter operating profit.

This was much bigger than the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street predicted and has created a bit of a stir.

SAP said third quarter operating profit, excluding special items, rose to $1.84 billion.

SAP’s Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic said it was expecting to make an operating profit of 5.6 – 5.9 billion euro at constant currencies. This is flat growth to a rise of as much as 5 percent from 5.6 billion euros last year. Not great but better than Wall Street predicted.

Mucic said that the double digit growth in cloud and software revenue was mainly driven by excellent results in mature markets. We guess teenage markets are too interested in slouching around the house with their mates to buy SAP and pre-school markets don’t have a chequebook.

SAP’s Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic said in a statement, adding that he expected continued volatility and economic challenges in emerging markets. Markets which hide in shrubberies and emerge are always more tricky than those who stand in the middle of the square and shout “look at me”.

SAP, whose customers include the world’s biggest multinationals, specialises in business applications ranging from accounting to human resources to supply-chain management.

The outfit has to take on fast-growing newer competitors such as Workday and Amazon.com’s web software unit.

SAP said its cloud subscriptions and support revenue more than doubled to 600 million euro in the third quarter.

Third-quarter total revenue of 4.98 billion euros was slightly ahead of the average expectation of 4.93 billion.

SAP boss loses an eye after fall

70_McDermott_BillThe maker of expensive esoteric software which no one really knows what it does, lost his eye and nearly his life after a fall at his home.

SAP boss Bill McDermott, 54 was walking down stairs at night carrying a glass of water in his left hand when he slipped and landed on the tumbler.

McDermott almost bled to death after cutting up his face and shattering his eye socket in the midnight fall.

German magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported Doctors couldn’t save his left eye despite their best efforts.

The chief exec said he was still alive, and that’s not a given after such a bad accident.

“This can happen to anyone. It’s important to stand up after you’ve fallen down.”

Plattner drew up a contingency plan for the future leadership of SAP just in case McDermott quit as a result of his injuries, but it looks like he will pull through.


SAP unveils new esoteric database management

Tconfusingtrafficsignhe European peddler of expensive esoteric management software, which no one is quite sure what it does, has come up with something new, which is bound to be just as obscure.

SAP has invented software which it says can help businesses make sense of a deluge of real-world data from retail transactions, transport systems and social media, hoping to persuade customers to switch from rival database suppliers.

Dubbed the HANA Vora, the software is basically another database.  This one is supposed to give businesses greater insights into the vast volumes of data organisations are collecting from customer feedback, along with sensors installed in products, vehicles and networks.

HANA Vora works with Apache Hadoop, an open source framework popular with serious software developers for handling huge sets of data.

SAP Chief Technology Officer Quentin Clark said that the new datasets that are emerging are going to have a profound impact on how a business is going to function, and its options.

Clark is a former Microsofty who escaped from Redmond last year where he was in charge of rival Microsoft data products.

Customers can now use visual analysis tools in HANA Vora to meld existing organizational data with less structured, external data imported from Hadoop to create more comprehensive views of trends affecting their business decision-making, Clark said.

All this is rather new for SAP which makes a pile of dosh from business planning applications that have always run atop databases supplied by rivals such as Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.

This changed in 2010 when SAP switched course and introduced its own database.  S4 HANA, which runs SAP’s mainstay business planning software.  It is apparently the company’s biggest new product bet in two decades.

It might have a few problems getting its customers making the switch.  It is one thing to convince a manager that they need esoteric business software – they are already talking that sort of management rubbish already. It is quite another to suggest that the original database should be designed by the same people.

Gartner has stated that only 35 percent of SAP’s core business customers will be running on HANA by 2020 and most customers are waiting to be convinced that the database is reliable enough to handle their most vital data.

Samsung beats rivals in reputation stakes

SamsungA survey of the most reputable companies in the USA shows that Samsung is the clear technology leader in the country if you discount Amazon, which holds number one position.

Samsung held number 28 position in the Reputation Institute’s 2015 study, with other big technology names way down the list.

Sony and Nikon hold positions 37 and 38, while HP only makes it to 44 and Microsoft ro 46.

Google comes well down the list at number 50, while SAP at number 85 pops Intel way down the list at number 87.

If you divide the reputation list by sector, Apple is number 21 out of 25.

The list measures corporate reputation, defined as social responsibility, having a nice place to work, and product and service excellence.

The figures are based on a survey of 50,000 people.