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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.

POV

  • 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]

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2 Comments

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  1. Filip Misovski

    Hi Richard,

    1. Thanks for advertising the posting 🙂

    2. Yes, HANA Cloud Platform is required and is the platofrm for HR Extensions.  We call it short: “platform extensions”, “extension package for SuccessFactors” — but, surely based on HCP.

    3. The emphasis on HR is just a begining to much better understand and serve the application and ecosystem needs with the right level of integration, the right business scenarios, the right commercial offering, etc.  Working on the extension package for SuccessFactos has given us tremendous insights and also product capabilities we are evolving in the platform.

    Stay tuned for TechEd when we plan to have more details and update on this!

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      Hi,

      Great to hear that the HANA Cloud Platform plays such an important role in this new approach. I wasn’t sure.  For me, this effort is critical, because it shows that the arbitrary walls between SAP cloud offerings are disappearing and new innovative solutions are being created that combine the best of different offerings.

      See you in Vegas.

      D.

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