We are less than a week away from SAPPHIRE ’09. I have, in the past, shared my thoughts on key matters after the SAPPHIRE and TechEd events. I promise to do so again after SAPPHIRE this year in Orlando. This year though, I have become privy to certain interesting propositions that will be on offer at SAPPHIRE. In a year when people are having to make discerning decisions as to what event to attend, I feel sharing this might be of use to those attending the event – so I ask for your indulgence (my apologies, if this comes across as a plug for these topics)!
For one, SAP is obviously going to be driving the Business Suite argument and will expectedly make every effort to show how enterprises can gain with this offering together with the SAP Business Objects portfolio. The argument about speed and flexibility is an important one – specially in this day and age given the dynamically changing environment and scarce funds with which to combat it. In this context, a landmark thought leadership white paper* co-authored by Peter Maier (Senior VP, Industry & Suite Marketing, SAP) and Andy Mulholland (Global CTO, Capgemini) will be presented (by them) underscoring some key nuanced points on why the most recent offerings from SAP are different and why they should be important to the SAP ecosystem. This should have an impact on how SAP and its partners approach selling SAP software and services to enterprises and how enterprises and their partners approach implementation of SAP in the future.
Speaking of implementing SAP, there will be a large assembly of SI partners – no surprise! Each one will be attempting to promote their own strengths – again, no surprise! Some of them will likely present unique approaches to implementation – there could be something novel here for the discerning attendee. Often SIs guard their own implementation methodologies rather zealously and are not very interested in opening the proverbial kimono. However, at SAPPHIRE this year there will be an interesting exposition of a book called ArchitectedSAP® (Mendel Koerts and Lucas Osse)*. ArchitectedSAP® is the name the authors have given to a multi-disciplinary end-to-end approach to strategy delivery, helping an enterprise to navigate from strategic intent to delivered change in daily operations. It focuses on the integral application of the services concept in the business and IT domain, specifically SAP-centric ones. This book is intended to provide the enterprise a means to purposefully deal with the dynamics that characterize this era of continuous transformation we are living in, pragmatically linked to IT environments where SAP solutions play a role. It also contains a list of different methodologies that have been successfully tried and tested. For business process experts I see this as an enabling resource for it can boost their own capabilities.
SAP will also be looking to promote its offerings in the arena of providing more “insight” to businesses. The Business Objects Portfolio of offerings should be in sharp focus. In this context, SAP Business Objects Polestar* is likely to be one of the offerings being promoted. A one line summary of its oomph factor would run something like this – it combines the simplicity and speed of search with the trust and analytical power of business intelligence (BI) to provide immediate answers to business questions – the emphasis being on the word immediate. Polestar is designed to leverage the BI platform’s entire range of capabilities and is deployable in days, not months. Since the time-to-value in this case is of such a dramatically short duration, it should be in the “must-be-checked-out” category for SAPPHIRE attendees!
Besides these, there will be the usual quota of announcements from SAP and its partners, but I fully expect to see on-display around the show differentiated offerings from the various SIs and ISVs that inform SAP customers (and prospects) how best to gain additional value from all their existing and future SAP investments. Seek out those that promise to help provide game changing capabilities, for as we have said within this forum, it is not just about surviving this economic downturn, but to take appropriate steps so we come out ahead! Seek out those that are guiding you toward smart innovation – there is at least one joint information session where SAP is promoting the topic of Co-Innovation (COIL)* along with its partner’s RApid INnovation* program. This aspect is geared toward sharing how an enterprise can take actionable steps to unlock greater value from their SAP investment.
If you are attending SAPPHIRE, have a great one. I will return after SAPPHIRE with my next post.
* NOTE: For those interested in knowing more about the above referenced: (a) white paper (Time to Change – New Thoughts on Supporting Business Change Fast and Flexibly) or the related presentation (Insight Session – Save Money, Deliver More, and Do It Fast!); (b) a presentation on Polestar/BWA and the Business User (Insight Session – Get Real – Actual, Practical Insights About Performance from SAP Business Users); (c) the book, ArchitectedSAP®, (d) a presentation on RApid INnovation and SAP Co-Innovation Lab (Insight Session – Fight the Downturn with Innovation!), please visit this Microsite.