Thursday, December 13, 2007

SAP ecosystem

My definition: SAP ecosystem is a chain of partners, software vendors and others who can contribute to innovation and effectiveness of SAP platform.

SAP was struggling for creation of support program for their partners many years. A long time ago partnering with SAP was based on a relationships with external consultancy companies which have knowledge of SAP technology and they helped SAP to grow. Those companies were mostly system integrators. Now when market is full and all big SAP implementation have been done SAP is trying to extent their partner collection to all the others who can SAP help with to stay on the market leading position. SAP NetWeaver partner program has its roots in former CSP (Complementary Software Program). The principle of ecosystem is to set up partnership relationships between SAP and other vendors in order to create Industry Value Networks (IVNs). SAP wants to have an active and energetic ecosystem around its systems because there is no innovation which can help for everybody. On other hand partner, customers, ISVs, and system integrators are communicating, collaborating, and building innovative solutions. And will all that contribution can SAP innovate their software portfolio faster then ever.

How can you contribute to SAP ecosystem?

  • SAP Developer community (SDN) – wealthy source of technical information, e-learning, expert discussions, documentations related to SAP technology. Membership is free for everybody.
  • Enterprise Services Community (ES Community) – Network for customers and partners together with SAP are cooperating on definitions of enterprise services.
  • Business Process Expert Community (BPX) – Basically it is the same as SDN but for business process experts. Information for business process experts who design and optimize business processes before SAP implementation gets started.
  • Industry value networks (IVNs) - Industry-specific ecosystems that bring together customers, partners, and SAP to focus on the co-innovation of industry solutions to support critical business challenges.
  • "Powered by SAP NetWeaver" partner solutions – 3rd party software solutions that are certified to run on the SAP NetWeaver platform which extends standard NW functionality.
  • "SAP xApps Certified" partner solutions – 3rd party solutions that are built as composite applications that on run on the SAP NetWeaver platform to work with SAP software and integrate at all levels of the IT landscape.

One notice how SAP’s ecosystem is growing up: In 2005 SAP SDN had approximately 150.000 members next year 2006 there were 260.000 members. We’ll see how big SDN will be in this year.

The core of ecosystem is enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). Enterprise SOA is software architecture designed for enterprise’s purposes with utilization of (web) services. The aim is to design of business applications, by enabling rapid composition of business solutions. Business logic is encapsulated as enterprise services small particular functionality components that can be quickly reassembled. More regarding enterprise SOA topic in some of next articles. Stay tuned.

P.S. In addition SAP sometimes distinguishes between: platform ecosystem, partner ecosystem and so on.

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