SAP has bet a lot on NetWeaver, its platform-cum-SOA strategy, and has endured the slings and arrows of competitors belittling the fact that it didn’t reach universal adoption in the two-plus years since it was first announced.
But it seems like data from ASUG, the US-based SAP user group, augmented with a little analysis from SAP chief Henning Kagermann, would indicate that NetWeaver has finally started to matter in the market.
According to ASUG, 57 percent of users are planning to make NetWeaver their strategic platform by 2010. That’s not a bad start, though it begs the question of what to think about the remaining 43 percent. Here goes my best guess.
First, we also know from ASUG that 75 percent of customers surveyed plan to be doing an upgrade by 2008. Considering that an upgrade to MySAP ERP – I mean SAP ERP – requires NetWeaver, it’s safe to say that 75 percent of customers surveyed by ASUG will be running NetWeaver. We also know, thanks to a little color commentary by Kagermann, that a total of four percent of respondents said they would never deploy NetWeaver.
So, that leaves us with 57 percent doing NetWeaver as a strategic platform, with an additional 18 percent (the difference between 75 percent upgrading and the 57 percent doing strategic NetWeaver) planning on deploying NetWeaver without necessarily considering it strategic. If we take out the four percent that said they will never deploy NetWeaver, we’re left with 21 percent that are sitting on the fence. Or, as they say in the land of opportunity – 21 percent of the customer base is still ready to be convinced that NetWeaver might be right for them.
Does this mean that NetWeaver has arrived? I think it’s a pretty good sign. Bear in mind that an ASUG survey is not definitive – by definition it’s a self-selecting group of customers that are leaning towards SAP as a strategic partner anyway, hence their participation in the first place. And it only tells the NetWeaver story on this side of the Atlantic – which still leaves some pretty large markets unaccounted for.
But the general momentum seems to be indicative that critical mass has been achieved. It may not be in every shop, and it may not be the strategic platform of choice, but NetWeaver has arrived. Finally.