After leaving leaving SAP abruptly last month, deciding not to wait many more years before taking on the reins of the company, Shai Agassi has not taken refuge in a cave or disappeared into the Silicon Valley void--he is blogging and plans to focus on climate change and green technologies.
Agassi has not lost his passion for SAP's product strategy and enterprise SOA, as he wrote in this post:
There is no doubt that ERP, which was a key differentiator for companies 10 years ago has become more context for some of the companies today, and for those who had bad implementations, even worse a costly commoditized set of processes (and if they picked a non-SAP product, a costly legacy set of processes). For the companies that know how to use ERP as a strategic asset there is no doubt that a great SAP implementation is a core component of their differentiation.
He called Apple's SAP implementation "one of the most inspiring uses of technology in the enterprise."
In another post, he explained the role of SAP's platform in the larger context:
So, is ERP essential or are the edge applications more important? Given your ERP will become service enabled or service oriented, will it be more or less valuable? My view is that with the service enablement, as we have performed through the introduction of Enterprise SOA at SAP, ERP in combination with a middleware platform like NetWeaver becomes the next Enterprise platform. In a sense, this combo “ERP Platform” (called Applistructure or BPP by the analysts) becomes the enterprise equivalent to Windows for the back end processes. Using that same metaphor the question translates to “Does Windows Matter?” and the answer is fairly simple – Windows became the invisible power behind the scenes, enabling a portfolio of applications, all standardizing on the same set of APIs. In that scenario an ERP platform not only matters, it becomes essential to the business.
Not yet 40 years old, financially set, ambitious and a serial entrepreneur, Agassi will take on a few more major challenges. The blogging thing is more likely a temporary assignment. He has stated that electric vehicles are the future of transportation. It will be fun to if he can shake up the transportation industry, along with other well endowed Silicon Valley veterans such as Vinod Khosla and John Doerr.