When DSAG and SAP met last year, sharp tones and clear demands could be heard. But now – after a change of management, the launch of new products and greater freedom in relation to support enquiries, the argument appears to have been forgotten. The tone and mood have taken on a more reconciliatory character.
As emphasized by Gerhard Oswald, a member of the Executive Board of SAP, SAP has revived itself by getting “back to the roots”. The multinational has been listening to its customers some more, and removed many doubts thanks to the latest release of SAP NetWeaver and the presentation of SAP HANA.
Björn Goerke, SVP Technology and Innovation, walked onto the stage as “Mr. NetWeaver”, referred to evolution and innovation, used the Tesla Roadster to show that driving fun and environmental protection do not need to be contradictory, and generally repeated what had already been talked about at TechEd: the benefits and new functions provided by BusinessObjects 4.0, NetWeaver 7.3, cloud computing, in-memory technology and mobile software.
Only 30 minutes of downtime
There were however some new things: the product “Near Zero Downtime Maintenance” can help to significantly reduce downtime (from around ten hours to 30 minutes, for example). The utility company EnBW is the first reference customer.
Goerke promised new products and functions for 2011, such as additional EHPs, automatic configuration options, better integration for the SAP Solution Manager, analytical tools for business objects and Open Source support.
New on-demand software
New on-demand solutions will also be available, such as E-Sourcing OnDemand or Travel OnDemand, which users will be able to connect to existing applications. Something else that has been under discussion for some time: the Business ByDesign application platform and an app store for business software from SAP, via which partners can offer the solutions that they have developed themselves. The mobile SDK should be ready for release in 2011, too.
New mobile applications are also due for release during the course of the year, such as Sybase CEP, ASE and IQ. Goerke did not reveal what the new software can do, but he did announce that a prototype in the area of “cloud infrastructure mobility” will be available at the end of 2011.
SAP HANA will continue to play an important role and will also be developed further. This technology, which should make business scenarios such as planning, forecasts, simulations and analyses possible, will play a role in areas such as smart metering and smart energy.
DSAG: one EHP per year
DSAG, which promotes the interests of German-language SAP customers, is remaining focused on its objectives: SAP should provide the users of ERP, CRM, PLM, SRM and SCM users with at least one enhancement package per year. Reliable product roadmaps are still an essential aspect, and SAP also has a lot of catching up to do in relation to flexible and transparent licensing, according to Lenck. After all, those SAP users with the most experience live in the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region.
According to DSAG, there are three models for exerting influence: at the strategic level for long-term roadmaps and products, at the mid-term level in relation to influencing products currently under development, and at the short-term level in relation to the correction or improvement of shortcomings in software.
Customers and SAP employees are currently discussing mobile applications, technology platforms, integration and databases at the Technology Days, as well as determining roadmaps and strategies – behind closed doors, of course.