There's been some interesting discussions popping up around Bruce Richardson's recent prediction that SOA will kill off ERP (also discussed in this blog).
Charles Zedlewski, who works for SAP, says this really isn't news to his company, which has been shifting its business model to a more service-oriented focus for at least three years now.
Zedlewski asks: who, exactly, will build the new breed of services that will emerge -- and take on the functions of back-end proprietary applications? He points out that such services may not just be built by offshore vendors or internal development groups, but actually by the large application vendors themselves.
He adds that internal development groups and systems integrators are at a disadvantage in attempting to build such services, and are likely to hampered by organizational politics (where's the value?) and technical issues (service granularity, standards, semantic interoperability).
SAP's strategy is not to try to create these services itself, but "cultivate a community of other companies, consultants and professionals that can have 100,000 as many bright ideas."
"If THIS is doomsday according to Bruce Richardson, clearly SAP is saying: 'bring it on,'" Zedlewski wrote.
The net result will be a completely different SAP -- and Oracle or Peoplesoft -- in a few years, offering far more componentized solutions than they do now.