Whenever SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott speaks, he's likely to mention his company's broad partnership ecosystem — the developers, information technology services professionals, and customers who help develop SAP's strategy, business processes, and technologies. Without this community SAP would be unable to dub itself the world's leading provider of business software (although you'd probably never hear McDermott say that).
Get ready to hear more about this ecosystem in the coming months.
SAP has recently increased its ecosystem's strength and reach by working with customers and industry partners to launch SAP BusinessObjects analytic applications, according to an announcement made by McDermott at DEMO Fall 2010 in Santa Clara. With help from systems integrator and technology partners, SAP's 10 new applications are deployable in as little as eight weeks and are designed to work with structured or unstructured data from any SAP or non-SAP system, according to a company press release.
"Business analytics, mobile, and in-memory [computing] are coming together on the device," McDemott said. "While other [companies] are trying to figure out whether they're software [companies] or hardware [companies] or some hybrid of the two, [SAP is] very clear: our ambition is to remain the number one business software company in the world in applications, in analytics, and of course on mobility."
The applications available with the BusinessObjects analytic applications release cover the healthcare, consumer products, public sector, financial services, retail, and telecommunications verticals. The ten applications are as follows:
The organizations that comprise the ecosystem structured to focus and optimize these applications include:
"The new SAP BusinessObjects Analytic Applications product family are primarily vertically focused," Forrester Research Analyst James Kobielus says, "with specific analytic apps for healthcare, consumer products, public sector, financial services, retail and telecommunications, respectively, and for one or more business function within each of those verticals." Kobielus says that this launch is a play for SAP to verticalize its management of these diverse industry/domain-specific application portfolios, and also to bring people from those industries into product management positions.
As a sign of its ecosystem's and application's strength, SAP assembled a group of customers to sing the company's praises during the event. Executives from Levi Strauss & Co., Johns Hopkins University, McCain Foods, and the National University of Singapore, and the Secretary of Administration from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, explained how SAP's applications make their businesses run better.
"The concept of reporting, business intelligence and analytics isn't new," said Tom Peck, CIO of Levi Strauss & Co. "What is new is the speed of retail. Our customers are tech savvy...the info they have at their fingertips is enormous...For us to have a transparent single supply chain, real-time assortment and pricing decisions, we need to put the information at the leader's fingertips. We need companies like SAP and their partners to help us co-innovate to get these tools to our business leaders."
Stephanie Reel, CIO of Johns Hopkins University, offered her praise during a pre-recorded video that aired during the SAP announcement. She explained how Johns Hopkins was able to collaborate with SAP on the implementation of BusinessObjects so that the hospital could have a better understanding of what took place during each nurse's day.
"To work with SAP and take advantage of the BusinessObjects tools in a way that allows us to better support our nurses is really a wonderful opportunity for us," said Reel. "The fact that the development of this solution is something we can do collaboratively with our nurses and with SAP has been a wonderful experience."