SAP chief: Collaborate or die

SAP chief: Collaborate or die

Summary: No longer can companies go at it alone, said Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP. 'Every company needs to cultivate a network of business partners to cope with the speed of change in business.' Big SOA is the way to do this.

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TOPICS: SAP
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No longer can companies go at it alone, said Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP. 'Every company needs to cultivate a network of business partners to cope with the speed of change in business.' Big SOA is the way to do this. 

At this week's big SAP confab in Atlanta, SOA as a enabler for collaboration between companies was front and center of SAP CEO Henning Kagermann's address to the 14,000 attendees.

The ERP giant announced that its "Enterprise SOA" strategy is on track, and that it intends to deliver a full service-enabled business suite by the end of the year. Kagermann confirmed that SAP has "fulfilled its promise to largely deliver the first service-enabled suite of enterprise software to the market. With SAP ERP as the front-runner, SAP is on track to service-enable all SAP Business Suite applications in 2007."

In his speech, Kagermann observed that collaboration between businesses is the only way to achieve innovation and differentiation in today's blazing fast business culture. Companies must look outside their organizations and more effectively collaborate with their business networks. For this to occur, IT must provide a flexible, adaptable and ever-evolving infrastructure that allows continuous improvement without disruption to core processes.

That's where enterprise SOA comes in, he said.

"In the 1990s, companies combined business process re-engineering with ERP systems to achieve new levels of operational efficiency," said Kagermann. "Today, companies are seeking to combine business network transformation with enterprise SOA to achieve new levels of competitive differentiation. As we observe business network transformation happening globally, we predict it will elevate IT to a more strategic role for the business in the future."

"No longer can companies go at it alone," Kagermann added. "Change is happening at an accelerated pace and every company needs to cultivate a network of business partners to cope with the speed of change in business. The combination of business network transformation and the advent of enterprise SOA form a powerful foundation for creating an even greater competitive advantage for companies."

UPDATE: ZDNet colleague Dan Farber reports how Kagermann also discussed SAP's entree into the Enterprise 2.0 realm.

Topic: SAP

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