How SDNers Can Help SAP “Sell” NetWeaver/Enterprise SOA
Some SDNers may say that we as a community have no obligation to help SAP “sell” NW/Enterprise SOA to existing and prospective members of the SAP community. This point of view is so obviously wrong that I won’t bother to refute it up-front. But if you really do think that we DON’T have this obligation, tell me why in detail and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong in detail. OK – so we’re all agreed that SDNers have an obligation to help SAP “sell” its vision. One way to do this is for SDNers to try and convince existing SAP customers that NW/Enterprise SOA is so “ready-for-prime-time” that it can even compete as pure technology against any other software development package. This is a very different approach than the one currently being followed by SAP – to try and “hitch” the NW/Enterprise SOA “wagon” to the “star” of business process re-engineering. When SAP pitches NW/Enterprise SOA as the underpinning of business process re-engineering, SAP is telling customers to do yet again what they already did when they went to ERP in the first place: rework their business processes in functional areas that SAP covers. And therefore, SAP has to overcome the skepticism of customers who have at this point gotten a little suspicious of each new latest-and-greatest paradigm being pitched by the US$300.00/hr folks. In the approach I’m suggesting, the pitch would be that NW/Enterprise SOA can not only be used in all the good ways that the Enterprise SOA gurus suggest, but can also be used throughout a company as a pure technology package for doing things the company has always wanted to do, but didn’t have the means to do. If you’re an SDNer working for an existing SAP customer and have any “clout”, you are certainly in a position to pitch SAP NW/Enterprise SOA as a pure technology solution to ANY IT problem in your company or organization, not just ones in domains that SAP covers. But what if you’re an SDNer working for a 3rd party firm: consulting, integrator, or implementor? Well, if your firm has at least one “in” with an existing SAP customer “C”, what you can do is to convince your firm to do the following: 1. Buy the HP/SAP NW combo package – it’s almost “free” considering what you get. (Of course, SAP might have to remove the requirement for buyers to have an ERP license.) 2. Pay for some training (maybe SAP would even discount a little here?) 3. When the SAP customer “C” comes out with an IT RFP in an area not covered by SAP, bid a solution that relies on NW/Enterprise SOA as pure technology. 4. Tell “C” that NW/Enterprise SOA is so “easy”, you’ll even do a “loss-leader” prototype to show “C” how quickly and easily you can deliver the needed solution. What’s in it for you? The best pay-off of all: continuing opportunities to do interesting work with intelligently designed software.