In his keynote at the DSAG Annual Conference 2009, Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP Executive Board member with responsibility for business solutions and technology, described quality as the key to innovation. After all, if high standards are not maintained, developer resources are tied up with bug fixes and patches.
According to customer surveys, SAP is on the right track in terms of quality – and satisfaction levels among customers have grown continuously over the past two years. According to Snabe, this frees up resources for improving the software and building new functions.
A good example of this is SAP Business Suite 7, which has been available since November 2008. With around 150 innovations and improvements, Snabe claims it is the best and most complete ERP software product on the market today.
In the future, individual areas of the software will be developed further at varying paces, Snabe explained. In such a way, modules that require absolute stability and reliability – such as accounting functions – will be cautiously fine-tuned, while innovations can be implemented faster in other areas.
Update rather than upgrade
Snabe explained that annual enhancement packages will continuously expand the functionality of SAP Business Suite 7. An ingenious feature enables users to import individual innovations or install the whole package, depending on their situation. This step-by-step approach to updates makes them faster, more secure, and more manageable than they used to be.
What’s more, SAP Business Suite 7 is consistently optimized for service-oriented architecture (SOA), so users can enhance it in accordance with their own needs, Snabe said. The current version of SAP Business Suite already has more than 2,800 enterprise services. This means that 80% of all possible services are covered. Snabe promised: “If users need a certain service that we don’t yet have, they should contact SAP and we’ll integrate it.”
CEI was a great success
Finally, Snabe thanked DSAG for helping SAP find companies who were willing to participate in the Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI). As part of the CEI, SAP gets companies involved at an early stage in product development. This enables SAP to react directly to user requests and input, and ultimately prevent development activities in the wrong areas.