SAP striving to make SOA easy

By : |March 5, 2009 0

BANGALORE: SAP recently launched its latest version SAP Business Suite 7, which is fully SOA enabled and aims to enable companies to optimise their businesses and tighten costs. Vinay Iyer, Vice President, Global Solution Marketing, SAP elaborates the functionalities of the SAP Business Suite 7 and its implications for the adoption of SOA.

CIOL: What are the key functional components of the latest business suite?

Vinay Iyer: SAP Business Suite 7 is the first of a new generation of modular Business Suite solutions that combine business process efficiencies with analytical capabilities and process flexibility, allowing companies to increase efficiency and react quickly to changes in their specific industry – ultimately helping companies to align and optimize their business and IT strategies in times of accelerated change.



The new Business Suite offers improved efficiency and flexibility allowing customers to standardize and innovate quickly.
The integration of SAP Business Objects analytical capabilities offers customers a broader insight to make informed, real-time business decisions in order to optimize performance.
As a result, customers are equipped to remain competitive during the recession and be better prepared to execute their growth strategy during the recovery.

The new SAP Business Suite is the culmination of 15 months of product innovation and development efforts working closely with SAP customers to bring forward a service-oriented Suite that offers customers solutions to quickly address critical pain points with pre-configured industry best practices in a modern and open architecture.

Specifically, customers will benefit from the following new capabilities of SAP Business Suite 7:

Ready for Business:
New Functionality- More than 150 new functional innovations are delivered with SAP Business Suite 7, allowing customers to further enhance their business processes.
Value Scenarios- with SAP Business Suite 7 we introduce Value Scenarios for the first time. Value Scenarios extend business processes beyond department, best-of-breed application silos and company boundaries. The Value Scenarios help customers increase the business value of IT by ensuring one consistent and natively integrated process. One example is "Collaborative Demand and Supply Planning” – an end-to-end business process that span across CRM, SCM, ERP and SRM.
Industry Solutions- SAP Business Suite 7 supports industry best practices for 24 different industries. By collecting all industry capabilities within one Suite customers are able to become Best Run Businesses in multiple industries as well as collaboration across entire value chains.

Ready for Crisis:
Enhancement Packages- Enhancement packages allow customers to pick and choose new functionalities they need for their business in a non-disruptive way. The new Suite is the go-to release for all applications and help reduce TCO and increase efficiencies through the delivery of new functionality without need for upgrades until 2013.
Packaged Solutions- Modular deployment of business processes, instead of risk-charged deployment of point solutions, delivering industry best practices help customers reduce costs and reach benefits faster. The “Best Run Now” packaged offerings are small, on-ramp projects to help companies realize quick value out of their SAP Business Suite investments. 
Reduced TCO- Solution Manager is developed to support the entire lifecycle of the SAP solution. Through the content and tools Solution Manager allows customers to speed up and focus implementation efforts, as well as reduce the costs of running the solutions.
Harmonized UI- Business Suite 7 is the first Suite that offers harmonized User Experience across all applications, allowing end-users to be trained faster and become more productive when working across application boundaries.

Ready for Growth:
SOA enabled- Business Suite 7 is fully SOA enabled supporting business process flexibility with more than 2,800 enterprise services for all Industries. The Enterprise Services expose the rich functionality of the Business Suite for external consumption without sacrificing process integrity and compliance.
Flexible Processes- Business Process Management tools in SAP NetWeaver allow customers build own practices and respond fast to changing business requirements without sacrificing process integrity and Total Cost of Ownership.
Embedded analytics – Business Suite 7 leverages the analytical toolset of SAP Business Objects, allowing users access to analytics embedded into the business processes to make faster and better decisions. 

The new Business Suite went into ramp-up in Q4 and we already have over 200  customers who are implementing the software for their enterprise.

and without costly upgrades. As a result, leaving long implementations, upgrades and disintegrated point-solutions in the past. 

CIOL: Why should customers going through a tough economic downturn invest in this product?

Vinay Iyer: In any economic environment, investments must be justified with solid business cases. SAP has always focused on the business value delivered to the lines of business in all industries. In the economic downturn we are focusing on value propositions that address the current business priorities and come with a fast return, because we know that this is what customers are looking for today.

The “modularity” of SAP Business Suite helps customers respond quickly to changing business needs in a turbulent economic environment. They can also consolidate their enterprise software landscapes to reduce costs and appropriately scale their operations for growth.

Organizations and departments in all sectors can deploy SAP Business Suite software in a stepwise manner to address specific business challenges on their own timelines

CIOL: What is the major value add in this product compared to the earlier version?

Vinay Iyer: It delivers flexibility as a result of its synchronized release schedule, wide adoption of service-oriented architecture (SOA) design concepts, industry specialization, and support for collaborative and unstructured business processes. The applications are extensible and eliminate the necessity for large-scale upgrades through enhancement packages. It offers businesses the opportunity to address business efficiency and insight needs that currently prevent them from improving employee productivity or executing business strategies to drive greater profitability.  Also, the end-to-end processes inherent in the new Business Suite provide businesses solutions for their current problems.

CIOL: Do you consider this product a shot in the arm for SoA adoption?
Vinay Iyer: SAP is striving to make SOA easy to execute by providing the most comprehensive end-to-end approach and being the only company able to prove provisioning and consumption of services on a single platform (SOA embedded in the application, upgrade into SOA with ERP 6.0).

As of today, app. 80 percent of the Business Suite functionality are enterprise-service enabled, and all of those enterprise services have been modeled according to our unique governance process. Further service enablement will be driven by (a) customer demand, and (b) by new products which are being built together with necessary services.

In an agile delivery approach we currently develop enterprise services to access existing functionality of the Business Suite whenever we determine critical mass of customer interest in a specific area. As of January 2009, 50+ projects to complement service enablement have been run. In addition, all new functionality will be developed together with the required service enablement.

CIOL: When can we expect SOA on the cloud? Does SAP have any plans for cloud services?
Vinay Iyer: In line with our -overall strategy of providing customers choice, SAP is evaluating the best strategies to provide customers with deployment flexibility while ensuring process integrity and business continuity. The same principles are being applied to ‘cloud’ computing. We are working with our partners on engineering efforts to determine how cloud computing can be best leveraged for the enterprise.

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