One of the first questions we typically get when we start talking about SAP NW BPM (also referred to by its nickname, Galaxy) is “How does BPM fit into the overall SAP landscape?”. To address this question, we created a slide that we fondly refer to internally as “the hamburger”. What can I say? I’m an American to the core.
The “meat” in the hamburger is the Business Suite itself. SAP sells applications that enact business processes. They weren’t specified using a spiffy business process metamodel, but they form the business process backbone of some of the biggest organizations in the world. Most organizations seek to stabalize these “core” processes that tend to be non-differentiating. Several years ago SAP embarked on an effort to support SOA by exposing data and behavior in the Suite to the outside world via interprise services. These services can be found in the Entprise Services Repository.
The lower part of the “bun” is the integration capability available in SAP Process Integration (PI). PI allows customers to quickly integrate software systems and create business networks with their customers, suppliers and partners.
We look at SAP NW BPM as the “top bun”. It’s here that customers can innovate by combining human interaction and Enterprise Services in “composite processes”. In a future post I’ll share what we’re seeing as canonical scenarios.
Sorry if this sounds like a primer on BPM, but I’d like to egage with the community on strategy topics so I think a little level setting is in order. I promise that this will not be a marketing blog!