SAP Watch

Jan 29 2007   10:11PM GMT

SAP trends 2007, part three


Following the predictions of Logos GmbH founder Axel Angeli and Ventana CEO Mark Smith, it is now time for veteran SAP expert Dale Young to put forth his take on the major SAP trend of 2007. Like Axel’s most recent post, Dale chose to do it in the form of a guest editorial.

The key question
Why is the upgrade to mySAP ERP different than those that came before it?

Many SAP customers are at a crossroads for supporting future business needs and realizing the next wave of value from their SAP investment. First of all, today’s business environment is VERY different from when they originally put in R/3. There is an increasing amount of business competition, collaboration, globalization, standardization, commoditization and change.  They are likely are faced with new competitors, markets and products and their enterprise solutions must serve a new generation of customers, employees and partners (from generation Y) for whom technology is a normal life skill.

More complexity
Secondly, their original application strategy and enterprise architecture are likely more than five years old.  The ideal “clean” hardware, software, OS and database environments that were targeted with the first install have likely been more complex and less heterogeneous.  Business needs have changed; technology and Web services have matured; and SAP has entered into the architecture, Web enablement and integration space.  Computing infrastructure capabilities have also evolved.  There are significant new opportunities to optimize your enterprise infrastructure.

Finally, SAP has undergone a “Step Change” in its architecture and solutions.  NetWeaver and Enterprise SOA have emerged as the foundation for all SAP solutions; there are increased capabilities in the areas of data and information management; and new third party capabilities such as Microsoft Duet and Adobe IAF have been introduced. For the first time, the core business content that has been developed over the last 30 years by SAP will be available for an open, standards-based world. Also, SAP functional solutions have evolved and matured.  There are opportunities to take advantage of new functionality across the entire SAP solution suite and to simplify your overall enterprise architecture through additional legacy solutions retirement.

What does all this add up to?
When looking at all these factors together, you can see that this upgrade is different.  SAP customers are at a unique point in time where they can set the direction for their enterprise solutions for the next decade.  At first, this may seem to be a daunting task and very few enterprises have the luxury or can afford the risk of a wholesale rebuild.  Most organizations are following an “evolutionary” approach to dealing with this business revolution.

Dale Young, Vice President
North American SAP Alliance Leader

Editor’s comment:
Do you agree with Dale on this being the number one trend for 2007? Is it really that vital to upgrade? Do you trust the new lineup of feature-packed NetWeaver toys, or do you prefer to sit back and see what happens? Sound off and send your thoughts to today!

Matt Danielsson

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