Many companies are wondering what developments they can expect to see with SAP Business Suite. Over the past two years, SAP made lots of product announcements in the areas of on-demand solutions, mobile software, and in-memory technology. But little was heard about innovations and updates for SAP Business Suite software.
At the annual meeting of the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG), co-CEO of SAP Jim Hagemann Snabe put any doubts to rest. In addition to mobile software, cloud computing, and in-memory technology, he announced that SAP Business Suite remains SAP’s core business.
A Constant Stream of Enhancements
As well as SAP Business Suite, SAP’s core business includes SAP NetWeaver 7.3, SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0, and SAP Rapid Deployment solutions. Currently, the Innovations 2010 release is available, but the next one is just around the corner: Snabe announced that Innovations 2011 will be launched for SAP Business Suite 7 on November 8, immediately before SAPPHIRE NOW 2011 in Europe. However, from 2012, there won’t be any more upgrades. Instead, there will be an enhancement every quarter. Unlike enhancement packages (EHPs), enhancements comprise one small, specific feature and don’t offer a full range of functionalities – but these enhancements become available regularly throughout the year and companies can decide for themselves which ones they want to install and which ones they don’t need. Time-consuming upgrade projects therefore become a thing of the past. Snabe promised regular enhancements until 2020.
The following video contains more information about the SAP Business Suite Innovation Road Map:
Next page: SAP employees follow their leader
The atmosphere among the 3,900 attendees at the DSAG Annual Congress was relaxed and easygoing. Hardly anyone liked to think back to how tense the situation was a few years ago. SAP seems to have restored the relationship it has with its customers. Both parties listen to each other and are willing to approach one another.
Snabe Leads the Way, SAP Crew Follows
This good rapport may also have something to do with the personalities themselves. For example, Karl Liebstückel, chairman of DSAG, stressed the good working relationship and common understanding between himself and Michael Kleinemeier, SAP’s managing director responsible for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
And customers seem to be very happy with the co-CEO, too. Snabe, who kept his promise from 2010 and gave his keynote in German, approaches customers and is on the right track, they said. Now he just needs to get the rest of the SAP crew behind him.
Next page: Starter packs for SAP HANA
DSAG calls for starter packs for SAP HANA
DSAG champions the cause of SAP users, a bit like a union for SAP customers. For example, it demands pricing transparency for enhancement packages.
DSAG also calls for:
- Standardized processes and user interfaces without integration gaps
- Starter packs for SAP HANA
- Needs-based, individual service models
- A reduction in the complexity of platforms
- Clear separation of SAP solutions and partner solutions
- Simple and stable mobile infrastructure, secure transfer
- Safeguarding of existing industry solutions
- Greater influence of the DSAG working groups in the SAP ecosystem
- Clear information about which solutions are developed by partners and which are developed by SAP itself
- Implementation of legal requirements (e-balance sheet)
- Industry solutions must be represented in the product strategy (on-premises, on-demand, on-device)
Next page: More transparency wanted for SAP HANA
What Is SAP HANA?
As well as the road map for SAP Business Suite, the participants were concerned about another matter: SAP HANA. The software uses in-memory technology and stores data in the working memory, where it can be called and evaluated at an astounding speed. But what exactly is SAP HANA? Is it a new tool or a paradigm shift? Snabe answered this question in his keynote, too. Read the details as more articles continue to appear on SAP.info.
Liebstückel expressed his satisfaction with the user group: It now has 180 working groups and 40,000 individual registered members. He particularly praised the working group that devotes itself to a standardized SAP GUI. Another announcement that Liebstückel made was about a special new member: Soccer club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim joined DSAG last year. The German Bundesliga club deploys SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) 6.0 and the SAP Business ByDesign solution to monitor performance and training plans.
According to Liebstückel, other successes include the consolidation of SAP NetWeaver 7.02/7.30, the integration of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse and SAP BusinessObjects, plus the stabilization and further development of the solutions for banking, automotive, and media.
DSAG hopes to continue its good track record. From in-memory solutions through cloud computing and business intelligence – the German-speaking SAP User Group will scrutinize technologies until they can really be deployed. DSAG won’t just trust lab results. Liebstückel stressed that successful real-life examples are what are really needed.