In the future, one of the most important components around vendor decision-making will be whether software companies have a mature and robust ecosystem. Customers will spend more time evaluating vendor ecosystems to determine whether they can meet all of their demanding requirements. And today SAP has taken another step forward in enhancing the value proposition for its partners and customers in order to extend its lead in cultivating a world-class partner ecosystem with the first formal gathering of the Enterprise Services (ES) Community. SAP has created this community as a collaborative, cross-industry program enabling partners and customers to co-define the way software is developed and deployed to solve evolving business requirements.
“In September 2005, SAP launched a community process as well as a series of industry value networks which have yielded tremendous value for our customers and partners by driving hundreds of Powered by SAP NetWeaver solutions into the market,” said Agassi. “And today we are taking the next step forward by bringing the Enterprise Services Community together, to focus on driving collaboration around enterprise SOA. Together we are helping customers transition into this new world of SOA. Because of SAP’s deep collaboration with partners, customers now have access to an exponentially large breadth of solutions. And our customers are the real winners in the end.”
There are three aspects of the community in which SAP has invested time and resources to ensure success: the openness of the community; the process by which the community is governed; and the structure that has been developed to ensure maximum value for each partner segment, including independent software vendors (ISVs), systems integrators (SIs), channel partners and infrastructure providers.
“Through the ES Community, SAP is further extending its ecosystem by creating a flexible and open forum that fosters collaboration in defining, creating, consuming and running enterprise services and helps guarantee the utilization quality of enterprise services through certification,” said Agassi. “SAP is working with each of our partners in order to further enhance their unique set of skills by partnering them with similarly focused teams, to solve common business challenges. The ES Community was conceived as part of SAP’s ongoing commitment to foster and expand an incredibly solid foundation that has already been built through the SAP Developer Network. Today there are more than a half million unique visitors a month to the SAP Developer Network Website, including 1,000 independent software vendors developing on the SAP platform.”
Agassi continued, “In order for any organization to thrive, there needs to be a defined process for how SAP will engage with partners as well as how partners will team with one another to deliver solutions. We’ve built the community so each partner type – ISVs, systems integrators, channel partners and others – can come to the table and have representation. It’s critical for our partners to engage with us in a two-way dialog to define this community by voicing what is important to them. SAP has brought the partners together and is providing a framework for driving success. But it is the collective community that will ensure future success because together all of us will team to drive the process forward.”
“The ES Community has a clearly defined structure that is shaped by governing rules and definition groups, focused on numerous initiatives, such as RFID and banking, which is vital for a free exchange of ideas among diverse partner types,” added Agassi. “We’ve developed the ES Community around a robust framework that serves common interests while protecting members’ core intellectual properties. There are thousands of unique partner types that are working with SAP because we have created a framework where they can effectively engage with us and we can provide them with the technology, training and support to ensure their success. We are spending time and resources investing in our partner ecosystem, unlike our competitors who are only focused on ‘attempting’ to rationalize their product offerings.”
“SAP has steadfastly believed in our partner strategy,” concluded Agassi. “This inaugural gathering of the Enterprise Services Community is yet another example of how we are effectively engaging with partners around the future of enterprise service-oriented architecture. We’ve have shown that our partners are a priority by opening up our application and technology platform to provide fertile ground for our ecosystem to invest in and innovate on top of. Together, we are discussing how SAP’s partner-enabling activities can maximize economic value for everyone in the ecosystem. And it’s not just our past successes, but it’s the fact that we’re actively listening to our partners so we can continue to evolve in order to meet the future needs of this community. The vendor who has the most mature ecosystem with the best solutions is going to win and SAP has a substantial head start on the competition.”