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SAP Sounds Off on SOA and Collaboration
SAPPHIRE '07: The business software giant highlights its enterprise services strategy and champions the importance of business network transformation.
Posted Apr 24, 2007
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SAP's initiatives surrounding SOA and ecosystem collaboration were at the core of CEO Henning Kagermann's keynote presentation to more than 15,000 attendees at SAP's user conference, SAPPHIRE '07, held in Atlanta. There are two key business trends driving adoption of enterprise SOA, according to Kagermann: the quickened pace of change in business, and the need to differentiate through innovation. For companies to successfully operate amid these conditions, according to Kagermann, they must capitalize on business network transformation--described by SAP as the optimization of a company's network of employees, suppliers, customers, partners, and distributors to maximize the productivity of non-differentiating tasks and to accelerate innovation.

"Business network transformation has become the primary source of competitive differentiation, and to do this you need a new IT architecture," Kagermann said. "Enterprise SOA is a way to architect IT for business network transformation." He added that the company has seen SAP NetWeaver used to integrate non-SAP systems, and that according to a recent Americas' SAP Users' Group survey, more than 53 percent of respondents view NetWeaver as being their strategic platform by 2010. "We have these easy to consume enterprise service bundles, we deliver innovation faster than ever based on a stable core, and we have a cross industry platform," Kagermann said.

SAP NetWeaver with SAP ERP and productized enterprise services is the company's business process platform for enterprise SOA. The company on Tuesday provided attendees with a glimpse of what's in store for the next surge of NetWeaver functionality, which includes Web 2.0, AJAX, and rich-client capabilities for simplifying the user experience and streamlining business processes, the company said. The next generation of SAP NetWeaver BI will feature a simplified Web 2.0-based user experience, increased self-service access to corporate information for business users, and will further embed intelligence in the context of daily business process, according to the company. SAP also added that it intends to deliver SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment, a Java EE5-based set of integrated tools for the construction and deployment of standards-based composite apps.

As for Monday's announcements that SAP made at SAPPHIRE, the company announced an expanded relationship with IBM to reach SMBs in Europe and Asia-Pacific through reseller agreements for SAP All-in-One solutions, and an extended partnership with Cisco Systems to jointly develop new "network-aware solutions." SAP also announced that it teamed with Adobe to deliver SAP Enterprise Learning Environment, combining SAP Learning Solution with Adobe Connect Professional, a Web conferencing solution, and an agreement with social enterprise management (SEM) software specialist Curam Software to deliver SEM solutions to the public sector. Leo Apotheker, SAP's president of customer solutions and operations and deputy CEO, is expected to provide detail about upcoming versions of Duet during his keynote.

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