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The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 5, Iss. 4)

by Shai Agassi | SAPinsider

October 1, 2004

by Shai Agassi, Member of the Executive Board, SAP SAPinsider - 2004 (Volume 5), October (Issue 4)

Shai Agassi,
Member of the Executive Board,

With an eye toward 2005, those who still equate SAP NetWeaver with SAP BW, Enterprise Portal, and our integration and application development tools would be well served to revisit that definition. It will leave you short-changed. Granted, SAP NetWeaver is a platform that encompasses all these technologies. But an association that conjures up images of discrete components is misleading. It suggests boundaries exist, which is not the case. With SAP NetWeaver, these things are prefabricated to seamlessly and automatically work together. In fact, the defining characteristic of this platform is this integration, and by extension, the ease with which IT organizations can execute activities that span multiple systems. You don’t need to worry about integrating your portal, data warehouse, and mobile infrastructure, or how changes to one affect the others. All mySAP Business Suite solutions are now built on the SAP NetWeaver platform, so integration on that front is a foregone conclusion. And recognizing that all of you maintain heterogeneous landscapes, SAP NetWeaver is expressly designed to streamline and simplify any integration and application development activity that cuts across SAP and non-SAP systems.

It’s with great pride that I look from one industry to the next and see the market leaders turning to SAP NetWeaver to facilitate their most strategic IT initiatives. Many started out with a component-based view, recognized the larger value proposition of SAP NetWeaver as a single platform, and capitalized on the opportunity. Without question, theirs are now among the most coveted IT landscapes. The reason is twofold.

First, SAP NetWeaver drives down your IT cost structure. Consider the changes you constantly make across your landscape. Change is costly because it requires you to address multiple touch points between systems and there is no standard or consistent means to do that. But there is, once SAP NetWeaver is in place. With a common platform into which all systems can cleanly connect and across which change is automatically driven, you don’t have to contend with an entanglement of point-to-point connections.

How much savings ensue? Well, it’s estimated that roughly 80% of all IT budgets are mired in those point-to-point connections. So when SAP NetWeaver replaces that morass with a streamlined, standardized services platform, we’re seeing savings that are quite large. I encourage you to look at the published ROI statistics.

The second reason is that SAP NetWeaver enables change. Abate IT complexity, and improvements and innovation easily follow. Dispense with IT obstacles that impede strategic business initiatives, replace it with a services-based infrastructure that facilitates these things, and you close the gap between when management identifies a plan of attack and when an IT organization executes it. Lag time between the two is directly proportional to the complexity of your IT landscape. SAP NetWeaver provides the means to close that gap. This is key, because in the end, it’s the ability to adapt, respond, and innovate — not cost savings — that is the hallmark of a successful company.

Shai Agassi,
Member of the Executive Board, SAP

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