Does SOA Need to

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2006-09-19 Print this article Print

be Dumbed Down?"> So there are probably 4,000 leftovers. But the market has bought [the technology]. The only question left is, when do I move? Not am I going to move? And the 4,000 are buying now at a rate of about 1,500 a year, so were looking at within two years pretty much most of these customers are going to have the right to mySAP ERP.

When I talked to users at TechEd about upgrading, every single one of them said they were upgrading because they have to. Do you agree with the perceptions that users are being forced to upgrade?
No. Lets be really accurate about it. We have a strategy that weve documented and shared and everyone knows about it: 5-1-2. It doesnt mean that after 1 and 2 are over, we stop supporting. We support forever.
Is there any possibility that SOA is a fad? Its here to stay. Thats like saying the Internet is a fad. I thought your key note was, in a sense, dumbed down a bit from previous keynotes discussing customers blue print SOA. Do you think that is necessary to get the message across? Yes. To me, when were able to dumb it down were successful. When you just start with something you still dont get all of it; you dont get all of its meaning. You havent tried the words yet. You havent tried the message. You dont see what customers do. They really tell us what were doing. So when you see us with a very complicated message, were just starting to play around with a concept. How does SAP differentiate from the pack with its SOA message going forward? The differentiation will not happen at the level of conceptual discussion. It will happen at the level of execution. And it will happen at the level of adoption. We all say the same thing: SOA is the way to go. Thats great news. The fact that were not arguing about that tells me that weve dumbed it down to a level that we all agree on. What were saying is a bit different. Oracle is going to start asking: Do you want functionality, or do you want SOA? You cant take their existing functionality and make that SOA. Youve got the three big ones—Oracle, PeopleSoft and Siebel. Two of them are somewhat close in the way theyve been constructed. Theyre sort of Roman languages, but theyre different Roman languages—you cant go from one to the other. So theyre going to go to one of them: E-Business Suite. SAP promises stable road map for MySAP ERP. Click here to read more. The problem is Siebel was built as an application written into the client, not on the server. You cant service enable a client application, it just doesnt happen. [Theyre] going to have to rewrite it from scratch. To rewrite Siebel from scratch, you dont do it in a year because otherwise the people at Siebel have been really, really stupid. So to get a service-oriented CRM youre going to get a dumbed-down, rewritten something from scratch. The same thing, by the way, will happen with PeopleSoft because even though they tell you everything was written in Java, the code was written in PL SQL. Take all that and youre going to get a SOA story that contradicts the functionality story. We have all the functionality, all service enabled. Our number is 05, not 08 maybe. And were not half way there; were next gening. And Microsoft? Microsoft is very close to what Oracle has. Dynamics is a brand, but Axapta, Navision, Great Plains, again different companies, different dictionaries. Some of them are Danish, some are in Fargo. I dont know if you know, by the way, that Doug [Burgum, head of Microsoft Business Applications] is gone today. What do you think of Satya Nadalla [Burgums replacement]? Hes an R&D guy, one level up. It wasnt our R&D guy that was the visionary in the group, he was developing. The almost guru-like level that Doug played in that ecosystem, looking at midmarket and looking at all the ecosystem [with MBS], I would be very nervous. Its not that they picked up a great executive and plugged him in there. They grew up a guy who is head of development. Im questioning that whole thing. But thats their life. What Im trying to put in perspective is were rolling. When this game is played if you get 10,000-plus ERP implementations with thousands of services on them, with hundreds of thousands of ISVs with solutions around them—it doesnt matter what they ship. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.


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