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Preparing to Go Live with Enterprise Services? Get SOA Expertise from SAP and Partners

by Ravi R. Swaminath | SAPinsider

October 1, 2006

Last year, SAP introduced the ESA Adoption Program to help organizations build a roadmap to implement enterprise services within their systems. But what are the most effective methods for actualizing that roadmap? SAP presents a comprehensive portfolio of offerings to help business and IT align their enterprise services strategy, and to ensure the services will neatly fit into existing processes.
 

Service-enabling your solutions gives your organization the opportunity to consolidate systems and build innovative new processes out of existing assets, all while reducing the costs and effort associated with maintaining your current software investments. While all service-oriented architectures (SOAs) are designed to leverage services for these benefits, the SAP enterprise SOA approach builds business content into these services to ensure that they can support enterprise-scale processes. The SAP NetWeaver platform provides the technology to support an enterprise SOA approach, and so will the next generation of SAP packaged solutions running on SAP NetWeaver, such as mySAP ERP 2005.

Enterprise SOA has already been embraced by hundreds of SAP customers around the world. To support these customers as they work toward fully adopting an enterprise service-oriented architecture, SAP not only provides the technology, but also offers detailed roadmaps, workshops, and other resources for implementing enterprise services. Based on our experience with SAP customers, the SAP Consulting organization, together with specially trained partners, has developed over 400 enterprise SOA and SAP NetWeaver customer-specific Roadmaps and hundreds more ESA Discovery Workshops1 to date. The enterprise SOA and SAP NetWeaver roadmaps provide comprehensive blueprints that show customers how to merge SAP's enterprise application content with SAP NetWeaver to enable flexible, enterprise-scale business processes that are also services-based.

A previous SAP Insider article2 introduced the concept of enterprise services and SAP's four-phased path to adopting enterprise SOA. That article detailed an early phase of the program: the Evaluation phase, in which a company builds a roadmap for embracing enterprise services across its systems. But where do you go from there to start using your roadmap to build, implement, and run services?

SAP Consulting has recently expanded its services around the Implement phase of the ESA Adoption Program. These Extended Enterprise SOA Consulting Services can be the next step for customers that have already developed their roadmap. At this point, companies have their blueprints in hand and are ready to begin building their first enterprise services-based application, but perhaps also want help in building a broader enterprise SOA strategy across their business. These extended services supplement the roadmap process, but can be pursued in any order or combination.

The Extended Enterprise SOA Consulting Services Portfolio

The Implement phase of the ESA Adoption Program is designed to help customers put enterprise SOA to work. SAP offers extended support services to aid with the planning, building, and running of enterprise services — with experts that can help with everything from ensuring these services support business goals to modeling a new application (see Figure 1).

Figure 1
The full portfolio of implementation-related service offerings available to SAP customers through the ESA Adoption Program

Enterprise SOA Business Strategy

Before implementing an enterprise SOA, both business and IT have to develop an aligned strategy. This strategy should be comprised of a prioritized list of enterprise SOA benefit scenarios, such as checking customers' credit ratings, used to identify where to start.

With the Enterprise SOA Business Strategy service, SAP consultants will work together with customers to develop a customized framework to ensure the successful use of enterprise SOA. Whereas the more operational and tactical roadmap identifies enterprise services and addresses a limited number of business units and processes, this service provides guidelines and requirements for a general enterprise SOA plan. The final deliverable is a comprehensive enterprise SOA strategy document.

Enterprise Services Modeling

This service is designed for the experts and specialists among SAP customers. It offers consultancy support for systematically identifying and defining enterprise services, and for building a model-based implementation design. It also allows customers to align their specific business processes with standard best-practice SAP process models.

Enterprise SOA Business Process Innovation

All too often, customers focus their IT cost-saving efforts only on consolidation or problem solving. Enterprise SOA gives customers an opportunity to drive innovation through new business processes, new markets, and better engagements across the organization at a lower TCO. This service guides customers on how to drive business process innovation through enterprise SOA by both enabling new processes that were not possible before (at a reasonable cost/benefit ratio) and optimizing existing processes. The final deliverable is a detailed report with recommendations from SAP consultants.

Enterprise SOA Organization and Governance

Enterprise SOA adoption drives a new services-based approach to IT. For this, a new governance framework has to be established. With this service, SAP consultants help customers handle issues like adapting governance principles to the new requirements of enterprise SOA, redefining the distribution of roles within the IT organization, identifying process owners, and aligning IT services, rules, and regulations for managing services in an enterprise SOA environment.

Enterprise SOA Value Assessment

As our customers are confronted with enterprise SOA, they have to decide how and where to invest, especially to prepare for future challenges. This Value Assessment service delivers answers to questions like: "What benefits can be achieved?", "Which areas should be prioritized?", and "What are the costs?" This assessment expands on the high-level recommendations made in the Evaluation phase and details a business case for migrating to an enterprise SOA.

Rapid Prototyping for Enterprise SOA

This service gives customers a quick overview of the feasibility of enterprise SOA based on prototypes. The deliverable is proof of concept in which a working model of an enterprise service is created using SAP NetWeaver.

Enterprise SOA Program Management

This service, encompassing both the Reference Architecture and IT Strategy Realization offerings shown in Figure 1, aims to achieve enterprise SOA program goals efficiently. It addresses budget, time, resource, and quality constraints within a complex enterprise SOA project.

Next Steps

SAP Consulting can help customers determine which service or services they should pursue. Customers can contact their local SAP customer engagement manager and work with someone from SAP Consulting, often an enterprise architect, to help choose the most appropriate service.

For more information on the ESA Adoption Program and Extended Enterprise SOA Consulting Services, visit www.sdn.sap.com and select Enterprise SOA. You will find out more about how your organization can achieve increased flexibility for managing, building, adapting, and implementing critical business processes through enterprise SOA.


1 Enterprise SOA replaces the earlier term ESA.

2 See "Getting Started with Enterprise Services Architecture" in the October-December 2005 issue of SAP Insider (www.SAPinsider.com).


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