SAP Executives Demonstrate Role of Timeless Software as a Critical Growth Enabler in a World of Accelerating Change

November 10, 2009 by SAP News 0

“Once-in-a-Generation” Enterprise Transformation Requires Trusted, Flexible and Sustainable Solutions Able to Evolve Without Compromising Underlying Systems

PHOENIX, Ariz. and VIENNA, Austria


SAP CTO Vishal Sikka spoke to SAP TechEd Phoenix attendees about managing the accelerating pace of change through adoption of “timeless software.”


SAP Executive Board Member Jim Hagemann Snabe addressed the crowd at SAP TechEd Vienna, discussing SAP’s answer to managing the accelerating pace of change.

Adhering to the theme of “Maximize Your Impact,” the SAP® TechEd 2009 event season is gaining momentum, drawing an expected crowd of 12,000 customer, developers and technical experts. Following successful events in Phoenix and Vienna, where attendees were presented with keynote addresses from Vishal Sikka, corporate officer and chief technology officer (CTO) of SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), and Jim Hagemann Snabe, member of the SAP Executive Board leading the Business Solutions and Technology organization, the phenomenon continues in Shanghai, China, on November 11-12, and in Bangalore, India, November 18-20. Speaking to audiences of developers, partners and customers, SAP executives continue to provide complementary perspectives on how companies today must heed “the new normal,” where there is an ever-accelerating pace of change, an explosion of social networks and the recognition that software solutions must adhere to a “timeless” strategy – the ability to evolve over generations without compromising underlying systems.

SAP CTO Vishal Sikka Hits Upon “The Accelerating Pace of Change”
During his keynote presentation at SAP TechEd Phoenix 2009, held October 13-16, Sikka said SAP, and its ecosystem of partners, developers and customers, is on the front line of change, working to help companies keep in step with today’s pressing requirements. A stable enterprise core that has the flexibility to adjust and respond to change, combined with user-friendly interfaces, exemplify the path of innovation SAP has laid out for customers to help them stay ahead of change.

“Over 100 customers have been with SAP for more than three decades,” said Sikka. “We haven’t lost a single one of these customers. Everything has changed during this time, but our relationship with the customer has not.”

Sikka said SAP continues to recognize the many challenges faced by its customers and the solutions and strategies they need to remain competitive. Companies are growing, but at the same time they still want stability, innovation without disruption, flexibility and the need to maintain coherence – without jeopardizing the cost and the integrity of their underlying systems. Sikka also said that SAP customers want to deliver instant value to their own customers and stakeholders, but need to execute this over decades. The answer to these challenges, according to Sikka, involves a mix of integrity, trust and software that is timeless.

“In order to build content that lasts for generations, you have to think of the end consumer,” Sikka said. “Our promise is of integrity and trust, constantly bringing innovation in across generations of technology and change, and building on the concept of timelessness. We are in the middle of a once-in-a-generation change and our customers are at the heart of this entire enterprise transformation.”

“Speed of Change is Rapidly Changing” According to SAP Executive Board Member Jim Hagemann Snabe
In his opening keynote remarks at the SAP TechEd event in Vienna, held October 27-29, Snabe continued the discussion about the accelerating pace of change and innovation and the important role of timeless software. He demonstrated how business models are evolving and the ways in which people work and consume software are changing rapidly. The convergence of social networking and the enterprise is driving better insight, mobility is gaining prevalence in emerging markets, and end user expectations are shifting in new and different ways to interact with software, according to Snabe.

“At the same time, there are core, mission-critical parts of the business that need to remain stable,” said Snabe. “To ensure our customers are able to respond to this increasing pace of change, we need to be able to manage the extreme speed of technical change at the outer edges, in mobile and on-demand environments for example, while at the same time maintain stability and consistency at the core capabilities like accounting.”

Snabe said SAP’s answer to managing the accelerating pace of change and supporting the new ways in which people work is to support a strategy of timeless software. SAP will abstract its software into three horizontal layers, which will allow for the evolution of each layer at its own pace, while at the same time preserving consistency. These three layers are:

  • SAP® Business Suite software provides the needed consistency across applications to support end-to-end business processes and at the same time reduce total cost of ownership. The core processes are enhanced without forcing an upgrade, and are service-oriented architecture (SOA)-enabled, for customers specific flexibility.
  • Extensions evolve at a moderate pace, and focus on providing solutions that are consistent and easy to consume and that provide instant value to customers. On-demand and hybrid deployments will enable easier consumption and provide faster time-to-value.
  • User/reach is the fastest evolving layer, focusing on the end users and their rapidly changing ways of consuming and interacting with software via mobile devices and collaborative technologies.

“Understanding our customers from both a business and end-user point of view is very important for SAP as it allows us to innovate and deliver relevant products,” said Snabe.

Replays of keynotes from SAP TechEd in Phoenix and Vienna are available at www.sapteched.com/live. For more information about SAP TechEd 2009, visit www.sapteched.com. For further interaction with event participants, follow SAP TechEd on Twitter (#sapteched09), become a fan on Facebook and visit the SAP TechEd forums and blogs.

SAP® TechEd 2009 Conference Event Series Continues
More than 12,000 SAP customers, partners and technical experts are convening at SAP® TechEd 2009, the company’s largest ecosystem education event, to gain the inspiration and skills needed to maximize impact on their organizations at a time when companies need both skilled professionals and agile, efficient IT solutions that can efficiently adapt to change. Now in its 13th year, SAP TechEd 2009 was held in Phoenix from October 13-16; is being held in Vienna, Austria, on October 27-29; and will be held in Shanghai, China, on November 11-12 and Bangalore, India, on November 18-20. For more information, please visit www.sapteched.com. Join the conversation via Twitter at #sapteched09.

About SAP
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 92,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP.” For more information, visit www.sap.com.

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, and related applications.

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