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DSAG Offers Resources to Help SAP Customers Embrace Enterprise SOA

by Alfons Wahlers | SAPinsider

January 1, 2007

by Alfons Wahlers, DSAG SAPinsider - 2007 (Volume 8), January (Issue 1)

Alfons Wahlers

SAP's enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) platform is poised to be the foundation on which SAP customers can set up standardized business process platforms combined with individual applications geared toward competitive advantage. Through enterprise SOA, companies will be able to create new types of collaborative and process-oriented applications out of reusable modules, making business process adaptation easier than it is with today's packaged solutions.

Enterprise SOA will also allow SAP customers to adapt their processes to accommodate new business requirements, including collaboration and automation; in-depth customer involvement; process-integrated, real-time business intelligence; and business process outsourcing (BPO) capabilities.

The flexibility of enterprise SOA is enabled by mySAP ERP 2005, the business process platform on top of which SAP will deliver new functionalities as enhancement packages. SAP has designed mySAP ERP to let customers integrate new tools, including analytic applications and interactive forms, with business processes.

DSAG recommends that companies install or upgrade to mySAP ERP 2005 because of its reliability and solid enterprise SOA foundation. Furthermore, mySAP ERP's expected longevity in the SAP market will allow enterprises enough time to understand and adapt to the opportunities that enterprise SOA affords.

Members Strive to Learn More About Enterprise SOA's Implications

To evaluate DSAG members' grasp and application of both enterprise SOA and the SAP NetWeaver platform that enables it, DSAG surveyed its members online last August and September. Of the 344 members that responded — representing 20% of DSAG's constituency — nearly half (45%) reported that they use SAP NetWeaver as their central platform, and another 38% said they use it in tandem with other systems.

The survey shows that customers are likewise drawn to enterprise SOA, but are clamoring to learn more about its practical advantages and quantifiable value. Case studies, documented customer experiences, and any other resources that can shed light on Web-services-based architectures are essential to evaluating the move to enterprise SOA, said respondents. The survey also indicates that, while enterprise SOA has primarily been an IT matter, it should be a major concern for business managers as well.

Resources to Help Get the Most from Enterprise SOA

At DSAG, we are implementing educational strategies to give our members more practical knowledge and training — and less theoretical context — about enterprise SOA. Our goal is to help companies transfer knowledge to business and management teams so that service-oriented architecture is understood and adopted by the entire business, not just by the IT department. Already, we've featured the subject during DSAG's Annual Congress in September 2006, which attracted 2,550 participants, and we've opened a business process management working group that offers members a forum in which to discuss enterprise SOA in detail.

Our major goal for 2007 is to intensify educational initiatives around enterprise SOA and to provide our members with everything they need to conduct daily business in both the IT and business departments. We are preparing one-day and two-day planning sessions to teach members about enterprise SOA's effects on employees, technology, and processes, and we are designing hands-on programs and case study reviews for CIOs and other DSAG representatives. We anticipate creating special work groups as well as a case study database that members can use to solve their enterprise SOA challenges and identify specific benefits of adapting the enterprise SOA architecture.

For more information about DSAG's survey, as well as its resources for understanding enterprise SOA, please visit

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