Expand +



The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 1, Iss. 2)

by Karl-Heinz Hess | SAPinsider

October 1, 2000

by Karl-Heinz Hess, SAP AG SAPinsider - 2000 (Volume 1), October (Issue 2)

Leveraging the e-business possibilities that the Web offers is, without a doubt, an important opportunity for SAP customers today. More and more business is being - and must be - conducted online. This often starts with intranet initiatives that serve up company news and employee self-service applications. Then, with a bit of experience under their belts, IT organizations roll out applications whose scope extends beyond the enterprise. Here's where you start to benefit from e-business.

     Of course, all this requires effective end-to-end integration of a variety of components and bringing the right information to the right user in the right way. Here is where open integration facilities come into play. They not only solve the technical application integration problem, but also recognize the need for different user paradigms. For example, certain features found in a company's internal Windows-based application may not be appropriate for an external browser-based community of users. Developers of e-business solutions need to be mindful of the different types of users and how they access different applications.

     Bringing the users to the applications is the easier part. Integrating the different applications is the more difficult challenge. There is an abundance of standards available to help achieve this. SAP, in fact, is a dominant player in setting many of these standards, including XML. But the key differentiator is integrating business processes. If you want to automate supply chain practices, for example, you need to ensure that information passed between members of the supply chain is interpreted and used in a consistent manner. This is the true integration challenge.

     The ability to achieve business process integration is the distinction that sets SAP apart. We are, in concert with our software partners, codifying the business processes around which customer enterprises revolve. This concept is new to the industry. It goes beyond producing open software that can interoperate with third-party solutions - we've been doing that for years. What we are doing now, together with customers and partners, is actually defining the collaborative processes that cut across the very fabric of a business application, be it our application or that of a partner. We are standardizing the semantics of the application while providing the flexibility needed to adapt to individual needs. In so doing, SAP is addressing the most critical imperative for ensuring successful e-business implementations among our customer base in the months and years ahead.

Karl-Heinz Hess
Member of the Extended Executive Board SAP AG

An email has been sent to:

More from SAPinsider


Please log in to post a comment.

No comments have been submitted on this article. Be the first to comment!