SAP in turn is delivering the solutions that allow companies to be nimble and respond to changing market conditions, enable countries to run more efficiently and give small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to build the infrastructure they need to be best-run businesses from inception. “Today we’re shifting from different drivers for why businesses are building their fabric – the infrastructure,” said Agassi. “Whereas before it was about management of resources, then it shifted to management of information and now we’re shifting into management of business events. And customers have been looking to SAP as a trusted advisor for 34 years to help build and manage this infrastructure as well as understand what the future holds for the enterprise software market. Companies and governments count on us to spend the time it takes to understand their business and provide them with the innovative solutions they require to meet the increasingly complex needs of their global business.” The five trends Agassi identified in today’s speech are as follows:
- We believe that for IT to deliver the flexibility organizations need, it must create a single, unified platform that provides a repository of coherent services. “One of the things we’re doing right now is opening up our technology platform to partners, including developers and integrators, which allow them to build their unique apps on top of our platform,” Agassi highlighted. “SAP’s platform provides a single repository of enterprise services, where the entire ecosystem can leverage our technology by building the solutions that are needed for every customer.”
- We believe the market has shifted from point solutions to industry-flavored suites. Agassi continued, “The days of buying point products are long behind us. Five years from now, customers will only buy suites. You won’t purchase individual point products such as ERP, CRM, supply chain management or HR applications that will ship to you as separate entities and that will end up as a collection of services that you need to manage. Customers are looking to drive a higher level of value out of their industry flavored, enterprise software solutions and they are doing this through deploying application suites.”
- We believe people like their current user experience but want business process content to be part of it. “The goal is to provide business workers and information workers with the data they need in order to make informed and intelligent decisions quickly. Our customers want basic, simple and powerful solutions, and this can be achieved through delivering an easy-to-use interface and hiding complexity in the background,” added Agassi. “SAP’s strategy is to help customers empower their people to leverage the skills they already have and embed in all the user experiences they already are comfortable with. So whether it is a portal, desktop productivity tools or alternative interfaces – mobile devices, RSS, RFID, analytics, embedded devices – the focus is around bringing relevant business context to that preferred user interface. These employees can leverage the skills they already have, like working in Microsoft Office. We teamed up with Microsoft to jointly deliver ‘Project Mendocino,’ which brings the best of desktop productivity and best enterprise applications without cost of integration.”
- We believe ecosystems that reuse common services deliver more, faster and cheaper innovation than any single vendor. “The SAP Developer Network has more than a half million unique visitors a month, including 1,000 ISVs developing on our platform, and these numbers are growing quickly,” highlighted Agassi. “SAP’s platform ecosystem is critical to our success as we continue to deliver more solutions to more customers in more industries. By providing a solid foundation for our partners that is based on an industry-standard design, we’re driving co-innovation in the market that has never been seen before,” Agassi said. “During the coming year, you’ll see even greater acceleration in our partner ecosystem space.”
- We believe IT will become strategic to the business as the pace of process innovation accelerates. “The industry has changed more in the past five years than in the previous two decades,” said Agassi in closing. “And we don’t see the pace of innovation slowing anytime soon. As we approach this next wave, businesses will be challenged to adapt faster to changes in their competitive landscape in order to serve their customers’ ever-changing needs. The companies that have invested properly in IT infrastructure will have the ability to handle the market changes; the companies that invest in enterprise services architecture will accelerate ahead of competitors,” concluded Agassi.
The Software 2006 keynote is the second in a series of speeches that Shai Agassi is giving around the future of the enterprise software industry. Agassi’s first keynote was at the International CeBIT Summit in Hanover, Germany on March 8, 2006. To read more about Agassi’s remarks during that event please visit the press release.