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image Do we really understand what ESA is all about, the reason this question came to my mind was that I have heard different people giving different definitions to ESA / SOA. Some say its all about abstracting your technical implementations, some say its all about inter-operability, some say its all about using some set of standards over internet. What I have observed that is this definition changes with the role that person is playing. Now, if we closely look at these definitions each of them are right in their own context. Irrespective of what one might define ESA as, its bound to give us the following benefits. 1. Ease of use of the business application, there by increasing the user productivity. 2. New business process can be easily integrated with the new ones. 3. Reduce the human errors there by the costs. Now, if we leave the benefits apart, the first question that comes to most of us is, how do I identify if there is ESA oppurtunity in my landscape. If yes, how do I identify the same. On the contrary to ESA, the questions that might arise, do I really need ESA. I am able to automate my business process using XI (XI is used for the integrating business applications). So, what is the need for the ESA in my case. Let us take at each of these a little in detail.

Is ESA a necessity?

First let’s look at the need for ESA. This question might arise especially in a smaller landscapes where there are limited number of systems and business processes. Data integration happens via XI the landscape has a portal for users to access the applications. Everything is running fine. So, in this case taking steps towards ESA might not make sense, isn’t it? However, what about the future? As an organization what are your growth plans, are you planning to grow organically or inorganicall ( Acquistions)? I am sure every organization would be looking for different ways to grow. So, what if you are expanding your business to a different country / continent? Or, to get a head start what if your CEO decides to take over an existing company in a different country. So, when this happens, how do you expand your business applicaion to get the new processes automated (Business expanding) or how do you integrate with already existing applications ( Company Takeover). These things become even more difficult if the new company was operating on a different platform. So, to conclude, no matter how your landscape might look like, I am sure there will be oppurtunites and reasons to go the ESA way. In my view its a matter of time before organizations get there. So, we will all get there sooner or later.

Where to implement to ESA in my landscape?

So, the now the questions comes, how do I identify the opprunities in my business processes for making them ESA enabled. As most of you would have seen the ESA adoption program by SAP you would have seen different stages in ESA adoptions. The stages are something like DISCOVERY EVALUATION IMPLEMENTATION OPERATIONS. DISCOVERY is the phase where you look for the Enterprise Services that can help you improve you business processes. If any of the following things happen in your business process, I am sure there will be an oppurtunity for ESA to help. 1. If the data required by the user is coming from multiple disparate systems. In this case the user is required to login to multiple systems, fetch and analyze the data and then make a decision. An Enterprise service which can communication with all these system can definitely help you in this case. 2. Your business process cuts across multple business systems in your landscape. 3. Your business is spread out in various locations of the world and each of the locations have implemented their own legacy systems / Pacakged applications. 4. All the enterprise services need not be of business step in nature. There might be cases where you might need some help for some look up values from a different application. These services are more of utility in nature. So, the important thing is to identify a business process and then identify the Enterprise Services that can help you out with your processes.

Shameless Plug

We are going to talk on this subject more in deep by taking some business processes at SAP Tech Ed 2005 @ Vienna. The following is the link for the same. . Please be there and we can always get into a one on one discussion about the business processes that you may have in your mind and come up with a ESA roadmap.


In my next blogs I will take some buisness processes, sample landscapes and in that we will see if we have an oppurtunity for ESA and if yes, how do we identify the Enterprise Services that we might start with. image

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