Our recent article about how SAP has slipped in Forrester's rankings for the integration-centric BPM market generated some pretty good feedback. One particularly interesting question that came up was:
"Do you think it is a better plan for SAP to create another EDI interface for NetWeaver rather than leveraging the SAP ecosystem and its proven technology and partners? Oracle typically builds or buys this type of solution because they are notoriously bad at managing their own ecosystem. Do you have high volume references for the Oracle 'hotpluggable' option and fusion middleware?"
We took this question to Ken Vollmer, principal analyst at Forrester and an author of the study. His response:
"The issue of SAP's approach to supporting EDI is one of cost and convenience for its customers. Most IC-BPMS providers offer native support for EDI in their core integration server and do not charge an additional fee for this capability. And since the EDI component is internally integrated, the customer does not have to worry about issues when upgrades are applied. That is not the case with most third party products, though we would expect the SAP/Seeburger partnership to be more integrated than most. Still one has to question why SAP provides native RosettaNet support, but does not provide direct support for the much more prevalent EDI standards. Microsoft has also been a long time holdout to providing native EDI support, but has now seen the light and will be including this capability in the next release of BizTalk Server. We believe SAP should do the same.
As far as high-volume references for XI is concerned, we have received a couple of references recently that have provided some indication that XI can perform in some high-volume situations when combined with clustering, load balancing and separation of synchronous and asynchronous messaging. However, it is accurate to say that we do not have a large number for references for either SAP or Oracle covering high-volume processing scenarios."
It will be interesting to track each company's rating in the IC-BPMS market if they are able to provide more high-volume references in the near future.