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DSAG Calls on SAP Customers to Embrace Innovation for Short- and Long-Term Business Benefit

by Mario Günter | SAPinsider

January 1, 2004

by Mario Günter, DSAG Headquarters SAPinsider - 2004 (Volume 5), January (Issue 1)

Mario Günter,
DSAG Headquarters

“If companies want to grow again profitably, then they need to find new courage for innovation. The contribution that information technology can and, indeed, has to make in this respect is considerable.” This was the appeal made by Alfons Wahlers, Chairman of DSAG, at the 2003 DSAG Annual Congress in Bremen, Germany. Around 2,000 participants took part in the discussions on future IT strategies at the Annual Congress under the banner “ArchiTECHturing SAP: Orientation Towards New Standards.”

In almost every industry, budget-tightening has left many companies missing out on the efficiencies that new solutions and technology can bring across their enterprise. Now, with the overwhelming focus on technology that not only offers functional enhancements but also combines these new features with a quick return on investment (ROI), companies have strong reasons to look, from both the business and technology perspectives, for innovation where it’s most needed.

What Standards-Based Applications Bring to Your Business

What’s more, companies can even extend the impact of new technology into the long-term by replacing the individual systems of the past with standards-based applications.

As one example, Alfons Wahlers referred to the benefits in the forthcoming updates and upgrades as companies move from SAP R/3 to SAP R/3 Enterprise, mySAP ERP, or mySAP Business Suite — changes that affect almost every SAP customer. At the keynotes and sessions throughout the DSAG Annual Congress, companies had the chance to learn about new opportunities to enhance and optimize their system landscapes in the short-term — and at the same time ready themselves for future standards.

Putting an End to the Hidden Costs of an Inflexible IT Architecture

The evolution to heterogeneous IT landscapes at work in most companies today and the ongoing transformation to a service-oriented architecture were the focal points of the keynote by Michael Kleinemeier, Managing Director of SAP Deutschland AG and President of the EMEA Central Region. Kleinemeier emphasized that, in many companies, an inflexible and overly complex IT structure was actually turning into a serious stumbling block for innovation, and was thus measurably restricting companies in their growth and in their competitiveness.

The focus on an “Orientation Towards New Standards” was also reflected in the keynotes by Gerd Oswald and Claus Heinrich, members of the SAP Executive Board, as they discussed both the challenges and advantages of the new IT architectures and services based on Internet standards.

Flexible solutions are inevitable if new standards are to be integrated technically and economically with the necessary upgrades or migrations from SAP R/3. While cost pressures and budget limits are a factor in technological innovation, they cannot and inevitably will not stem progress in the IT world.

The focus for most companies now is on thoroughly understanding the consequences and benefits — in time, costs, and resources — of embracing innovations in standards-based technology and solutions as an investment in the short- and long-term.

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