Pascal Brosset, Chief Strategy Officer at SAP doodled for me at Sapphire how he sees the enterprise application market evolve.
I invited him to present it to readers and he does in the picture and text below. It is a comprehensive vision and provides clues as to why in spite of criticism on delays on their SaaS (which they prefer to refer to as On-Demand) offering, BusinessByDesign overall, SAP does not seem too worried.
· SAP has traditionally addressed the operational processes “segment”, progressively expanding from non differentiating (ERP) to differentiating with the industry solutions. This is where the BPP strategy applies, to deliver pre-packaged best practices (by industry) customers can more and more implement “as is” with fast time-to-value and a predictable business outcome (your “20 cents per invoice” idea). This is major effort within SAP “as we speak”,
· with the BOBJ acquisition, we have almost doubled our addressable market (as far as potential users and use cases) into management processes (CPM type applications),
· most importantly, the combination of BOBJ tools and Suite/BPP allows us to deliver “closed loop business” (the yellow arrow):
- constantly monitor business operations,
- analyze trends, based on inside and outside data/information (the Explorer demo),
- derive insight and decide eventual changes (the “Web 2.0” demo in the keynote),
- implement the change in the process (via BPM),
… within the same context, user management, …
· finally, BPM allows customers (and/or partners) to complement the SAP solution with their own “secret sauce”, which they just do not want to buy as a ready-made solution.
· in the other “corner”, fully standard operational “commodity” processes, such as payroll, travel services, … will be more and more provided by BPO providers, to whom SAP is selling its software (we are the #1 in that space already),
· standard but non-commodity processes, such as SFA and Talent Management are very well suited to an on-demand delivery, which is far more efficient for both customers and providers. We expect this OD “segment” to grow over time as platforms and solutions get more and more flexible. To accelerate progress in this critical domain, SAP created a specific unit to accelerate its OD strategy (John Wookey),
As a consequence, today’s tightly integrated Suite will progressively (this is a 5 years journey) evolve into a more loosely integrated set of more nimble applications, that can be adopted/evolved independently according to their different business requirements. The notion of Timeless Software, which furthers the SOA roadmap, is the common framework that will unify all these applications into a common process, data and life-cycle management, thus keeping the essential value proposition of a Business Suite.
As we discussed, the less obvious but most important consequence of this progressive “modularization” of the Suite is that each solution can be more standard and thus easier/faster to implement with predictable business results.”