The SAP ecosystem is a complex beast with multiple facets / participants and a long / glorious history. A new job offer, however, shows that SAP is considering moving into a new area: HR-specific application extensions.
The job offer
Position: Student: Platform Ecosystem and Marketplace for Application Extensions Job
– Establishing the Platform Extensions as a leading offering for HR Line of Business customers to satisfy growing needs for custom applications.
– Becoming the first choice for Partners to build their next partner solution on, and promote their product.
EXPECTATIONS AND TASKS
– Understanding Customer Needs with (HR) Extensions on the Platform
– Understanding Partner needs for building Extensions
– Competitive intelligence on where other vendors are headed strategically
What is a platform ecosystem?
Here is a fitting definition that I found:
For big enterprise services companies, the hot new trend is having a cloud-hosted platform for third-party applications. These platforms give app developers the resources they need to build, launch, promote, and integrate their apps with other businesses. This not only creates a bundle of exceptional business tools but it also creates a hotbed of savvy entrepreneurs with working solutions looking for partners.
- Despite the focus on HR and extensions, I find no mention of the HANA Cloud Platform in this job description. This is rather strange in that for SuccessFactors, the HANA Cloud Platform is THE platform for extensions.
- The focus on HR Line of Business customers is also very interesting. I have no idea if this emphasis is just the beginning and then other areas are planned – I could imagine a supplier-focus with applications extensions for Ariba.
- My first assumption was that initially such extensions would be associated with SuccessFactors solutions and the HANA Cloud Platform. I was rereading a blog from Filip Misovski – a tweet from Filip first brought the job offer to my attention – and realized that the focus is potentially larger than just cloud. This platform could theoretically also be used for OnPremise extensions which would probably take the form of extensions of existing Fiori apps or new Fiori applications.
- There are already efforts – such as the PartnerEdge Program – to woo partners to more actively collaborate with SAP. The relationship of the new platform described in this job offer to those existing efforts is unclear.
- The relationship of this new environment to existing e-commerce efforts is also unclear. The SAP Store already exists but I have no idea if the marketplace depicted in this offer is associated with the existing Store.
- SAP isn’t the only one moving in this direction – there is a general market trend that is emerging.
I am very bullish on the platform eco-system trend, and am seeing faster adoption of the model up and down the technology value chain. Just in the last 3-4 months, I have talked to at least 30-40 executives in various technology companies who are developing platform ecosystems. They each consider the initiative to be a cornerstone growth strategy for their businesses. [SOURCE]