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Hammers and toolboxes …

While speaking to one of the large retailer enterprise architects about the SAP enterprise architecture framework, the architect made an interesting comment regarding enterprise architecture:  “Don’t try to compare your enterprise architecture framework to other frameworks”, he said.  ”We, for example, are selling hammers and it doesn’t really matter which hammer you are going to buy. All of our hammers can nail nails. The same goes for the enterprise architecture framework, it doesn’t matter which framework you will use,    as long as you’re using one you are on the right track.  ”      I like his metaphor and I used it to reply back. From an SAP perspective an enterprise architecture framework isn’t a hammer, it’s a toolbox. It’s true that most of the EA framework   today  means just selling the hammer to do enterprise architecture, but SAP also supplies  in the toolbox nails, screws,  bolts, hooks , etc’ that can help you in your enterprise architecture work.     The hammer is an analogy for the frameworks methodology. Most of the frameworks are backed up by methodology which explains how to do enterprise architecture work. Those methodologies are all based on common knowledge; therefore the claim about hammers  makes sense and works . It doesn’t matter which methodology you’ll use, all of them will guide you (in one way or another to enterprise architecture. The toolbox and all the equipment that it contains is the real benefit that SAP can suggest to our customers. We have there many enterprise architecture building blocks, arranged by industry, which can help you to achieve enterprise architecture faster and easier. We have predefined building blocks for the business, information, application and technology domains of enterprise architecture. It can be a collection of goals, objectives, capabilities, business processes, information, business objects, applications, services, technologies, communications and infrastructures. We have the building blocks to describe your current enterprise architecture and the ideal target architecture.      All of those building blocks are based on the knowledge and the experience that SAP collects   in so many industries. We translate this knowledge and experience into enterprise architecture building blocks and best practice and those EA assets are the advantage that SAP has in the EA field.    Natty Gur.

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