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Striking a Balance Between Innovation and Stability

by Dr. Mario Günter | SAPinsider

January 1, 2012

As companies assess and plan for new technologies, they must also focus on the need to maintain and manage their older, established systems and solutions. It can be tricky to strike a perfect balance, but DSAG is helping its members do just that. At DSAG's 2011 congress, members got information not only about SAP's latest and greatest innovations, but also about continued support for their established solutions.

New innovations, like in-memory computing, cloud computing, and mobility, are hot topics right now. But even as companies assess and plan for these new technologies, they must also focus on the need to maintain and manage their older, established systems and solutions. It can be tricky to strike a perfect balance.

That's why the theme of the annual DSAG Congress, held in October 2011, was "Reality Check 2011." The goal was to show where and how SAP's newest innovations meet customers' needs, as well as how SAP software can continue to support customers with their more established solutions, which don't always get as much media attention as the latest tools.

SAP Provides the Means to Balance Product Stability and Innovation

During his keynote address to nearly 4,000 attendees, SAP's co-CEO Jim Snabe made the world premier announcement that mainstream maintenance for SAP ERP 6.0 and SAP Business Suite 7 will be extended until 2020. Previously, the roadmap for these solutions was only known until 2015. DSAG appreciates this development, because it provides SAP users with planning reliability as far as their IT systems are concerned. This extended maintenance guarantee means that IT departments need not start planning a large-scale upgrade or implementation and can continue to depend on the stability of SAP's core platform.

This stability does not equal stagnation, however. Snabe also informed the DSAG audience that they could expect more frequent innovations to be available as enhancements. Instead of the yearly enhancement packages that it has released in the past, SAP will instead be rolling out functionality enhancements four times a year. These smaller, more frequent enhancements will enable companies to implement SAP's newest innovations more quickly, without disruption to their systems. And, of course, DSAG and SAP will continue to work closely to ensure that these new developments meet customers' needs.

Striking Figures from the 2011 DSAG Congress
  • Nearly 4,000 attendees
  • 171 exhibitors
  • Over 200 lecture slots
  • 435 speakers

DSAG Opens the Channels of Communication with SAP

One of the reasons that SAP can continually respond to customer requests is its relationship with user groups like DSAG, which provide customers with formal channels through which they can provide feedback and requests directly to SAP. Two examples of these engagement programs are the Customer Connection/Continuous Improvement (CI) program and the Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI) program.1 These initiatives, which were designed by SAP and are supported by DSAG, provide ongoing influence channels aimed at identifying and developing solution improvements for SAP customers. In fact, DSAG members make up almost 50% of those who participate in SAP's Customer Engagement Initiative program and more than 70% of the Continuous Improvement program.

To learn more about the collaboration channels between SAP and DSAG, visit


Dr. Mario Günter
Managing Director


1 For more details about these two customer engagement models, see "Customer-Driven SAP Software — A Look at 2 Current Initiatives from DSAG and SAP: Continuous Improvement and Customer Engagement" in the October-December 2011 issue of SAPinsider. [back]

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