This is my first blog post in SCN. However I’m following the community for some time now and try to make contributions too. So far only by helping to solve problems rose on forums, and this time by writing post in the blog. In general I don’t like any publicity, but I have so many thoughts about what I learnt during last year from SCN and surrounding resources that I can’t stay aside any more. So on my way home, I started to write this planecast on board of aircraft.
There is a big noise after SAPHIRE 2010 event about SAP and innovation. Once I asked myself – who is driving innovation? My strong belief is that people with original view on the world, on things and processes around them drive it. Look at the best IT minds of last decades: many of them were young and full of enthusiasm and energy when they started. What is also important they didn’t just dream about something new, but they did it. All necessary means to realize their ideas were available for them.
Let’s look on SAP ecosystem. Who is driving innovation there? I think mainly SAP itself. Is it enough? I think NO.
Lately thanks to SCN I learned that SAP is investing a lot of efforts to bring young talents to its products. But what would happen when young graduate (or any other talent) wants to realize his bright ideas? I believe not much. It is not enough to have ideas and willingness to perform, but you must have means to perform too. When the talent is insistent enough he probably ends up in consulting house where the major objective is maximizing profits and realization of the innovative ideas becomes questionable.
SAP is ERP system. It is not development environment. Almost every SAP innovation should have business process improvement context. Thus, developer edition of SAP (that is freely distributed via SCN) doesn’t contribute much to SAP innovation, because it doesn’t have any business context. I don’t think someone will use it as a development platform either. I think it is manly used for self-learning purposes.
SAP subscription was right move, but due to various reasons the program was stopped by SAP. New alternative isn’t adequate replacement. As long as such situation remains only customers, partners and SAP itself will have comprehensive overview of business context for driving innovation. Customers think about core business, partners about maximizing consulting/outsourcing profits and SAP about product competitiveness (that also includes innovation). This is what we have now.
Obviously there are no easy ways and I don’t mean to return subscription model. But SAP has to think about it: How to give means to talents who are hungry for innovation?