Enterprise SOA, a blueprint for creating a highly flexible IT landscape based on the SAP NetWeaver® platform, enables companies to rapidly respond to changing business requirements and competitive market dynamics, while maximizing existing IT infrastructure and resources—addressing key business requirements of organizations across the globe and across all industries. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE® ’07, SAP’s international customer conference, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 22 – 25.
Enterprise SOA enables companies to increase competitive advantage and build a sustainable business by accelerating innovation, capturing new revenue, developing operational efficiencies and empowering information workers. Business processes are the key to unlocking the potential of these strategies and adapting to changing business requirements. With enterprise SOA, companies can link stand-alone processes to quickly compose new end-to-end processes, selectively redesign existing processes to make changes faster and facilitate seamless design and execution across company boundaries to include business partners.
This flexible and adaptable architecture enables companies to achieve business network transformation—the optimization of a company’s network of suppliers, partners and distributors—to maximize the productivity of non-differentiating tasks and to accelerate innovation. For companies across industries, enterprise SOA translates to rapid deployment of new product and service offerings, tighter integration with partner networks to help ensure “one face” to the customer, automated and streamlined common processes, a collaborative work environment for information workers to leverage knowledge across the organization, and the ability to empower a mobile workforce.
“Companies in highly competitive industries are leveraging enterprise SOA to transform their business networks, working across company borders and in conjunction with partner ecosystems to drive competitive advantage and deliver more value to their customers,” said Klaus Kreplin, corporate officer and member of the Executive Council, head of SAP NetWeaver Technology, SAP AG. “With more than 13,000 productive deployments of SAP NetWeaver, companies are clearly moving to the SAP platform as the foundation for creating a highly flexible IT landscape.”
Dow Chemical: Increasing Competitive Advantage
The Dow Chemical Company views IT as an enabler of the company’s strategic and global business model. A major component of Dow’s capability in delivering world-class global operations is its continued commitment to best-in-class IT and work process systems. Currently, Dow Chemical is launching Next Enterprise Architecture (NEA), an internal initiative to upgrade Dow’s IT infrastructure through the deployment of innovative IT systems that enable increased collaboration with customers, employees and suppliers.
To support its Next Enterprise Architecture, Dow has extended its relationship with SAP, which will provide software and solutions that enable Dow to increase integration and support more robust applications and security features throughout its value chain at lower information technology costs. This is a logical extension to a long and successful relationship that began in 1987 and has fostered growth and success for both companies. Dow will be a large-scale adopter of SAP ERP and the SAP NetWeaver platform – key elements of Dow’s Next Enterprise Architecture.
“Effective companies anticipate the need for change rather than respond to it,” said Dave Kepler, CIO, Dow Chemical. “It is important for companies such as ours to have key alliances that enable an IT strategy that can adapt to changing market needs and regulations, while leveraging existing investments. A service-oriented architecture based on SAP NetWeaver is the foundation upon which we are enabling our IT solutions to deliver upon the business goals for the company’s future.”
GISA GmbH: Creating New Offerings for Customers Without Disruption to Core Business
Based in Halle, Germany, GISA GmbH, a leading services provider with strong focus on the utilities industry, is dedicated to a strong growth strategy focused on broadening its customer base and offering first-class customer services. In order to best serve current and future customers, the company needed an adaptable IT infrastructure that would scale as needed to serve its growing customer base and streamline business operations – while eliminating the need for continuous major upgrades. In conjunction with SAP Services, GISA completed an enterprise SOA road map, creating a clear path to SOA.
Today, the flexibility of an enterprise SOA-enabled platform, leveraging SAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver, enables accelerated innovation through ongoing enhancements rather than full upgrades. As a result, GISA has put an improved electronic billing and payment process in place that supports a growing customer base and makes the invoicing and payment process more convenient to its current customers. GISA has an improved cash flow, reduced billing process times and costs and improved customer relationships. With this solution, GISA is well-poised to continue its growth strategy to accommodate new customers and streamline business operations to keep costs low.
GISA has successfully completed the ramp-up of the first SAP enhancement package for SAP ERP, enabling the company to take immediate advantage of new innovations from SAP without disruption to its core SAP ERP installation. (For more information about enhancement packages, please see Sept. 12, 2006 press release, titled “SAP Delivers Innovation without Disruption to mySAP ERP Customers”). The project implementation was smooth and the solution went live within eight weeks of project start.
“This solution was chosen by GISA to meet the business needs of streamlining the billing and payment process for a rapidly growing customer base; to lower TCO by easy incorporation of data from non-SAP and SAP applications into the workflow; and to raise customer satisfaction by allowing the customers to view and approve and process their invoices at their convenience,” Michael Krüger, CIO, GISA GmbH. “Additionally, customers could view information about the service level quality of services they have received on the customer-facing portal.”
The flexibility of enterprise SOA is the basis for the differentiation of professional services providers in the marketplace to enable them to easily extend and customize our solutions to map to their unique business processes.
Standard Bank: Increasing Business Agility
Banks have encountered a great deal of turbulence in recent years, due to regulatory change, tidal waves of consolidation, new technologies, seismic shifts in customer behavior and the globalization of financial functions and capital markets. Some banks foresee these changes, and the impact they will have, at a time where their financial and peer performance is strong; and they use this position of strength to initiate the strategic changes required to respond to the challenges. Standard Bank is one of them.
“In the effort to move to a more customer centric business, Standard Bank needed to eliminate our IT silos that were taking and receiving diverse customer information, which included many interfaces, high costs and high complexity,” said Herman Singh, director, Architecture & Technology Engineering. “The advantage of an enterprise SOA platform is that we can differentiate and build customer loyalty through the agility and flexibility of the SAP NetWeaver platform.”
Kodak: Containing Costs by Improving Efficiencies
Today’s manufacturers are faced with growing challenges to make positive changes to their operations to have less of an impact on environment as they work to grow and expand to remain competitive. Kodak Park, in Rochester, New York, is the company’s largest global manufacturing site. With more than 1,300 acres, 150 buildings and 30 miles of roads, the facility has its own fire department, railroad, water and wastewater treatment plants and a power plant.
Committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy usage and water consumption, the company, along with partner OSIsoft, took advantage of the SAP NetWeaver platform to develop data links to better display and deliver energy consumption data. By enabling users to gather, analyze, and display real-time production and operational energy consumption data, the company identified additional conservation opportunities, tracked building power consumption thereby predicting requirements of the power plant, and exceeded energy savings goals – resulting in a savings of millions of dollars, annually.
“Through the flexibility of the SAP NetWeaver platform we were able to quickly implement a project that delivered tremendous results in record time,” said Vicki Nagy, CIO, Film Product Group, Eastman Kodak. “Not only are we realizing savings in our efforts to improve energy management, while making less of an impact on the environment, but we are learning how efficiently we can apply enterprise SOA technologies and make similar differences in other areas of the organization.”
Leveraging SAP NetWeaver as the Platform for Enterprise SOA SAP NetWeaver, together with SAP ERP and productized enterprise services, delivers the business process platform for enterprise SOA, enabling companies to centralize a core foundation for IT and fuel business process innovation.
Customer Success Transitioning to Enterprise SOA Is Maximized by SAP Services
As part of its commitment to provide exceptional service, value and support for its customers, SAP Services plays an essential role in maximizing customer success throughout the adoption of enterprise SOA. More than 900 enterprise SOA road maps have already been completed by companies around the world. SAP Consulting and SAP partners are delivering professional services designed to lower cost and drive immediate value for customers throughout every stage, including the introduction of repeatable, comprehensive pre-configured and predefined consulting services designed to align customers’ specific process requirements with SAP’s proven best business processes. These professional services are delivering benefits to large enterprises and midsize companies around the world through the standardization and reuse of content and service components for greater transparency and more predictable results by matching the service innovation and engineering life cycle to the software solution development process.