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John Wookey on saas for the Business Suite


At this week’s SIIA On-Demand Europe conference, I managed to catch 15 minutes with John Wookey. We briefly discussed various aspects of the new saas play and some of the technology that surrounds it. As always with these things, there’s a ton of questions I wished I’d asked but hopefully this will give you a starting point.

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  • I thought this video was a good start to the discussion. I selfishly wanted the video to go on much longer as there is so much to talk about when it comes to this latest SAP SaaS play.

    Overall I am personally encouraged by what Wookey had to say, though the implementation of such plans is obviously the challenging part.

    I'll throw out a few things on my mind:

    1. I'd like to see more specific technical clarification on what versions of SAP will be able to take advantage of these new service offerings. I'm guessing NetWeaver 7.x technology will be necessary to plug in these SaaS components. If so, this is one more thing that will require an ERP 6.0/NetWeaver upgrade to access. Which is great for the customers who have made the move, perhaps not so swell for those who haven't and who would still like more options for affordable on demand services.  Unless of course I am mistaken about the technical prerequisites.

    2. For those customers who are heavily invested in the Business Suite, will they welcome the new SaaS offerings, or will they feel more sticker shock around new product pricing? I haven't read anything yet about customer/user group reactions to these plans, though I was glad to hear Wookey talk about the customer feedback loops in place for these products.

    3. The Frictionless/Java-based nature of these apps makes sense. SAP has solidified a strategy around ABAP for the core Suite and Java/open programming standards around the edges or for plug-in components or cloud offerings. Still, for those developers watching these proceedings, this is one more vote of confidence that the SAP development of the future is clearly a hybrid model involving both ABAP and web-based standards. It will be interesting to continue the conversation on the skills users should be cultivating to leverage these new product options when they are available.

    Looking forward to more content on this topic, thanks for the video.

    - Jon