Pivot back to apps will not be that easy
Doug, agree with you Vishal is a red herring. His leaving should not have a material impact.
But 2 comments
a) SAP has tried hard to move away from apps. In the last decade HANA was the 4th pivot - NettWeaver, BOBJ, Sybase preceded it. SAP has been a non-factor in many recent apps areas. I interviewed several of its German customers for last book and SAP is nowhere insurance apps using telematics, mobile banking, next-gen robotics and mass customization etc etc...It was a non player in all the state Obamacare exchanges. I could go on and on. Recent internally developed apps like BYD are duds. So Vishal's leaving will not by itself allow it to pivot back to an apps focus that easily after a decade of neglect
b) For a global company, it is disturbing how poorly SAP handles executive transitions. Shai, Leo, now Vishal. There is something amiss in the corporate governance for such succession planning to go awry so often and with so much gossip and public scrutiny.