SAP CEO Henning Kagermann and executive board members Léo Apotheker and Shai Agassi addressed how SAP and its ecosystem are assisting customers worldwide: helping them innovate around their core business processes and helping them prepare for business model innovation while at the same time assisting them in building upon their existing software investments. By differentiating themselves at the core, companies can provide a unique value proposition to the marketplace and thus grow their business no matter what industry they are in or what size company they operate.
In Kagermann’s SAPPHIRE address, he focused on the new role of IT in supporting growth, a departure from the formerly prevalent view of IT as a driver of cost efficiency. Moving forward, IT will be the enabler of accelerated business innovation and operational excellence. Kagermann believes enterprise software must address three key business requirements: the need to automate processes for speed and flexibility; the need to enable collaboration by integrating automated processes beyond the firewall with those of customers, partners and suppliers and the need to harness and “amplify” the value of the knowledge worker.
“In a new era where IT is critical to executing on a growth agenda, companies have to know their IT vendor has a clear road map with specific milestones and deliverables,” said Henning Kagermann, CEO, SAP. “Enterprise software vendors must provide an evolutionary path to new technology adoption, not ‘rip and replace.’ And most importantly, customers look not just for a vendor but for a strategic partner that delivers on its promises to meet their business transformation goals on time. SAP is the only business software vendor currently able to provide and deliver now on an evolutionary strategy for its customers.”
Léo Apotheker demonstrated in his keynote why companies need to embrace enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) now. The globalization of markets, the consolidation and specialization of companies within and across industries and the rise of business model innovation are forcing companies to adapt their business models in a fast and flexible fashion. SAP’s market-leading mySAP Business Suite applications such as mySAP ERP bring customers to the era of enterprise SOA, providing the efficiency of an integrated architecture while at the same time allowing companies to evolve and extend their solutions flexibly.
“Enterprise SOA is a reality and companies can no longer afford to wait on the sidelines,” said Léo Apotheker, president, Customer Solutions and Operations and member of the SAP Executive Board. “This is a matter of being a best-run business versus an ‘also-ran’ business.” mySAP ERP 2005 is the first business suite application ever based on enterprise services. It delivers ‘out of the box’ industry applications and the flexibility to extend with industry-specific functionality at the pace of the customer.”
Shai Agassi, president of the Product and Technology Group and member of the SAP Executive Board, discussed a number of topics in his keynote, specifically highlighting the move toward IT being embedded in business today. In order for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors, Agassi said that companies need to harness IT as the ultimate competitive weapon. In his keynote, Agassi explained how SAP is delivering simplified business processes and demonstrated on stage a new alternative graphic user interface (GUI) for SAP software that will extend core business functionality to an even broader range of end users. SAP is reducing complexity by facilitating the integration of hundreds of enterprise services, which are the building blocks that will make up the foundation of customers’ application landscapes moving forward.
Agassi also explained that one of the critical tasks that customers need to address is around assuring business compliance. He outlined SAP’s announcement of a new compliance business unit and its subsequent solutions, which are meeting the increasing number of compliance needs of global customers in all verticals. (See May 17, 2006 press release, titled “SAP Launches Governance, Risk and Compliance Management Business Unit to Lead New, Emerging Market”). SAP is supplying the solutions that can help CEOs, CFOs and chief risk officers with one of their most important challenges: managing governance, risk and compliance.
“SAP is dramatically simplifying the ability of customers and partners to develop and deploy a new breed of innovations that will help keep them a step ahead of the competition,” said Agassi. “With the release of the latest version of mySAP ERP, we have also brought simplification to the user experience and to the workflows embedded in business processes. In addition, SAP gave customers increased flexibility in deployment options around its CRM offering by announcing the company will migrate its entire CRM offering to a hybrid model by 2007. The real benefits of enterprise SOA are no longer the promises of the future but are available today – only from SAP.”