Since its formal launch just two months ago at SAP TechEd ’06 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the first open community for business process experts has rapidly grown to 60,000 members, nearly one-third of which are based in India. Today’s announcement was made at SAP TechEd ’06, being held in Bangalore, India, Nov. 8 – 10. The Business Process Expert Community is designed to foster co-innovation in an open forum that caters to business process experts looking to drive business value from SOA – regardless of whether they are SAP customers or partners. Members can collaborate and co-innovate by accessing and publishing blogs, discussion forums, Wiki FAQs, articles, best practices, business scenario models, change management skills and SAP tools to help them deliver increased value to their organizations. Additionally, the community offers specialized vertical and horizontal topic areas to help business process experts leverage the expertise of peers in similar job functions and industries.
SAP is one of the first companies to offer model-driven tools as well as modeled composite applications specifically for this new category of professionals – enabling business process experts to compose business processes themselves, reduce the need for coding and remove the traditional IT backlog, in part by improving business-to-IT communication, tools and processes. The role of a business process expert – a key new job category borne from the evolution to enterprise SOA – has evolved to encompass a variety of titles including business analyst, business consultant, process consultant, application consultant and process developer. A business process expert plays a critical role within companies of all sizes, bridging business and IT to accelerate business process innovation.
Business process experts defined
The business process expert bridges the worlds of IT and business by bringing industry knowledge and business expertise to leverage composition software tools in order to increase business agility. Because SAP delivers model-driven tools, business process experts that are existing SAP customers have a distinct advantage in that they can leverage the SAP NetWeaver platform to adapt, compose and execute business processes in real time, as needed, to accelerate innovation. The typical background of the 60,000-plus members that have already joined the Business Process Expert Community includes:
- A deep knowledge of business-unit operations and core processes
- Expertise in gathering requirements and modeling business process flows
- Background as either a business person who has “gone technical” but has few coding skills, or a former application developer moving toward the business world
- Knowledge of using simple queries to extract information from data sources
“Business process experts now have an open forum in which they can sharpen their skills and share information, experiences and best practices to successfully leverage enterprise SOA,” said Zia Yusuf, executive vice president, Platform Ecosystem, SAP. “And with the launch of the community, SAP is continuing to introduce new opportunities for its ecosystem and the industry as a whole to collaborate around business process innovation. The rapid growth of the community – worldwide and in India – has been exciting, and the tremendous positive response from business process experts further underlines the strong global interest in enterprise SOA. The community will only serve to deepen this interest, and we look forward to continuing this momentum.”
India brings fast-growing membership
Reflecting their belief in SAP’s enterprise SOA vision and the value of being part of a fast-evolving global community of industry experts, members from India have become the largest segment within the global Business Process Expert Community. Nearly 20,000 of the 60,000 community members are from India, translating into the highest share globally. An employee of Wipro Technologies from Bangalore is the top contributor in the community – demonstrating that global members are strongly committed to the community and to collaborating with other members around enterprise SOA.
“Wipro recognizes the Business Process Expert Community as a key link in SAP’s enterprise SOA roadmap for its customers and partners,” said Sangita Singh, senior vice president, Enterprise Application Services, Wipro Technologies. “Business knowledge and domain insights within organizations come from the experts, many of which may not be from the developer community. This new community will get many such people into the SAP ecosystem and thereby enhance the knowledge within it.”
SAP helps companies transition to Enterprise SOA
With the addition of the Business Process Expert Community to the SAP ecosystem, SAP’s customers have even stronger reasons for moving to enterprise SOA. SAP’s approach to enterprise SOA goes beyond SOA fundamentals by supporting business requirements through the use of enterprise services. SAP is both building service-orientation directly into its solutions and providing a technology platform (SAP NetWeaver) and guidance to support companies in the development of their own service-oriented architectures spanning SAP and non-SAP solutions. SAP customers today have the ability to construct their own business-driven enterprise blueprints by combining multiple components from SAP’s comprehensive suite of offerings around enterprise SOA. These include:
- SAP NetWeaver – SAP’s business-ready, services-oriented platform for enabling business growth through innovation allows SAP customers and partners to extend the functionality provided by SAP solutions to meet their specific business needs.
- Enterprise Services – Based on widely accepted SOA standards, enterprise services represent a common business language that help customers increase the ease and speed at which they compose new business processes to support evolving business strategies and maintain the integrity of business processes. SAP already has over 500 services available through the latest release of SAP NetWeaver and mySAP Business Suite.
- Composite Applications – SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment provides a lean, standards-based composition environment and offers both developers and business process experts a visual, easy-to-use tool to build and run complete composite applications to accelerate business process innovation. Customers and partners can use the enterprise services in SAP’s repository to build their own composite applications on top of SAP’s application infrastructure.
- Global Partner Ecosystem – With over 1,000 partner ISVs and over 1,500 partner solutions on the SAP NetWeaver platform, SAP customers have access to a comprehensive set of enterprise functionalities that can be tailored to suit their own unique requirements.
- SAP Discovery System – Using SAP Discovery System, SAP customers and partners have an opportunity to learn the value of business process innovation and gain instant access to the latest software available from SAP. No other vendor is providing such a simple and seamless entry point on enterprise SOA roadmaps.
- Consulting Services – SAP Consulting recently launched a portfolio of consulting services to deliver against the accelerating demand for services that support companies’ transitions to enterprise SOA.
The Business Process Expert Community provides a forum for customers and partners in similar job roles and industries to co-innovate, access resources and share best practices. Additional communities include SAP Developer Network – SDN, SAP Enterprise Services Community and Industry Value Networks.