I’d planned to “live blog” Henning’s keynote, much in the same way as I have done Hasso’s and Leo’s. I wrote it, but I then got talking to a customer or two, and it seemed too late to post it after that. I’ve pondered a bit on it, and here is a more grammatically consistent attempt to look at themes in Henning’s talk. I’ve also read some other commentary on the speech now. Have a look at what Cote, Dennis, Dan, Joe, the other Dan have to say. Cote’s mind map is especially useful. You can also see the speech somewhere on the SAP website. (In my view it should be on youtube too)
In his speech, Kagermann observed that collaboration between businesses is the only way to achieve innovation and differentiation in today’s blazing fast business culture. Companies must look outside their organizations and more effectively collaborate with their business networks. For this to occur, IT must provide a flexible, adaptable and ever-evolving infrastructure that allows continuous improvement without disruption to core processes.
Dan Farber provides a thoughtful analysis.
Kagermann laid out SAP’s roadmap, which leads increasing toward a more pure enterprise SOA platform and ecosystem. “You have to build the right infrastructure to mesh different systems into one performing network, integrated into distributed, heterogeneous environments. It’s about speed through process automation and in reaching down into automation layer—the vision of the silent transaction.
He also reports
Based on the adoption of SAP ERP 6.0 (formerly MySAP 2005) and NetWeaver, Kagermann declared that the mass adoption of enterprise is underway. SAP ERP 6.0 adoption rose from 225 in April 2006 to 2,547 currently. NetWeaver adoption has grown from 5,881 to 13,068 production environments year over year to date, he said. SAP expects 75 percent of customers to move to SAP ERP 6.0 by mid-2008. (this is from an ASUG study)
The big words for me at Sapphire were collaboration, community and co-innovation. These came out loud and clear in Henning’s speech, the demos of Harmony and other social computing developments point to a focus on collaboration. As with the other executive presentations, Henning made extensive reference to SPN, BPX and ASUG. Goodness. These guys rock.
Henning laid out the roadmap for the next few years, reflecting that we have delivered on what he promised 4 years ago. He stressed that he wants to be transparent about our plans so that customers can plan with confidence.
(photo courtesy of Dan Farber see Flickr tag Sapphire07)
The term Business Network Transformation made its appearance. I think this term has legs, and it will help a lot to wrap all the SOA talk into something more businessy. It would be easy to be cycnical and say that this is just B2B rewarmed, but I think it is fundamentally more than this. Enterprise software needs to adapt and thrive in the hyperlinked organisation. (Ha! I had to get the cluetrain in somewhere)
Some of the other soundbites that stuck with me
“Innovation happens at the edges”
“Integration can’t be dictated from the top”
and from the CIO at Dow. “Architecture isn’t boxes, it is the lines.”
Henning also positioned GRC well, I don’t have the exact words here, but it is was something on the lines of Management in a network world needs to be risk adjusted. I’ll expand a lot more on GRC in another post, and I have a podcast coming up on GRC. The SAP- Cisco partnership is interesting. More to figure out here.
I like it when our executives talk about customers. Nike, Standard Bank (nice South African mention), GISA, DHL,Valero and Dow all got a mention. (He also mentioned a chocolate maker, but without revealing who it was)
(great pic from Marilyn Pratt available via flickr tag sapphire07)
Tim Murphy from the Design Services Team did an excellent high speed demo of some of the enterprise 2.0 developments going on here at SAP.
The slides are so much better than they used to be. Many of us at SAP will be infliciting these on folks for the next year, so to the team that worked on them, well done.
Like many SAP watchers, I was hoping for more details on A1S. All this NDA stuff really tiresome. At least I got to hang out with some of the A1S solution management team on the side. They really do exist but they were on some secret mission. I could tell you but then I’d need to use a neutraliser (I’m not quite sure how this fits in with my transparency riff earlier!)