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The Architect’s World – Episode 1

Mendocino: Beauty and the Beast

Finally, its official! Beauty and the beast is not just a fairy tale that I read to my daughter every night!

Talk on Mendocino is doing the rounds in the customer community. This has also been helping the SI community push customers running .NET applications onto the SAP NetWeaver platform.

Slated to improve end user experience dramatically, this is probably the next best thing for Microsoft since it created MS-DOS and OS/2 with IBM.

Taking a recourse on the jargon-speak along with SAP, business users are scratching their heads to figure out how to deal with these constant technological salvos that keep getting fired from Walldorf. Does this mean that the SAP community welcomes this truce on one of the areas of the platform tussle that SAP has going with Microsoft and IBM? Does it put an end to speculations in the marketplace as to who will buy who? And how does an organization, as a Global Organization, consider this market information and technology change as an input for its strategic IT initiatives ?

Microsoft and SAP finally come around to put a pretty face on the beast. Touted as a joint partnership along with a sunny nickname – Mendocino, the proclaimed objective seems to be to create, add data and process context from SAP applications to Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and other Office applications. Cool, huh? For a vendor like Microsoft, which has been harping upon a mutually beneficial (should I say interoperable?) and strategic partnership with SAP and not terming this as competition, ever, this end result is being talked about a winner of sorts for us in the SAP Community.

History has noted the success of such partnerships of Microsoft and IBM on the Operating systems front, the challenge here lies on the team that is to make it happen. One vendor, who is known for sheer business process compliance and the other for ease of use unknown to mankind before windows. Of course, the first reaction within the installed base has been one of sheer joy, but the success of such an intense collaboration over schedules, processes, compliance, standards and legalities have the business users take a step back into their cocooned environment of R/3 4.6c and waiting for the sun to shine.

The SAP NetWeaver Solution Architect – A Composite?

Making logical bits of pieces of information as above and marrying up such concepts with the customer’s overall business scenario to lay down an ESA roadmap is what is being asked by customers today. Many times, the customers are better informed than the SI community in certain areas, many times.Customers with SAP as their core application backbone warrant a deep understanding of SAP R/3 as well. The deliverance to the Promised Land remains with the Solution Architect. Both sides of the brain needs to function. And that maketh an ESA Architect. This blog series will be exploring both the facets – Technical and business.

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  • Surely a solution architect cannot be a technical whiz kid plus a process guy with years of experience in the industry (experience being a process lead or owner). I think in solution proposal the finer details of the Business solution are speced out while the technical part can be adequately black boxed ,or is it the other way ? And again are solution architects domain specific? Well I guess the question boils down to what defines a solution architect? Would like to hear your views on this?
    • Pardon me for the delay in replying. It was deliberate. I wanted the discussions to progress further. In my opinion - there is no limitation to the depth a Solution Architect can delve into. Do take a look at my other blogs of the same series, I have tried to address this.