HANA is an example of a significant success arising out of internal research, with strong initial sales and a central role in SAP's product strategy moving forward. However, "the difference is you had buy-in from the top" in the person of SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner, Reed said. "HANA clearly was a very special research project."
Other projects at SAP have died on the vine, sometimes due to internal politics, according to Reed. "Something you develop may be disruptive to something else SAP is doing," he said. "To be fair, that's not just an SAP problem."
"Still, at some point organizational politics play an unwanted role in deciding what goes to market," he added. "Hopefully they can find a way to protect good ideas and bring them forward."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com