"This is now the foundation," said Agassi. "You need to get on this foundation in order to understand what were doing." In the next breath, Agassi asked,: "What is SOA? Ill repeat it one more time, so we can all understand."But whats needed, he said, is shared and agreed-upon semanticsan area SAP has put a lot of work into with its Enterprise ServicesWeb services with defined business logic. "Enterprise services with technology is the combination of our roadmap going forward," said Agassi. "Its the fundamental differentiator of what we do versus all other [vendors]. In all others, you have components, or a collection of components, but they dont come together." Agassi predicted that by the end of the decade companies will no longer buy stand-alone applications; rather, they will buy suites for the industry they are in. For SAP, that means developing business applications around six specific jobs: compliance, consolidation, network optimization, managing relationships, managing performance and driving performance. From the first job to the sixth job, what SAP strives for is transparency, Agassi said. And its why companies should move forward with SAP, he said. "If you want to take on an organization and go naked, you better make sure youre buff before you do," said Agassi. "Consider [ESA] your six pack." As SAP completes its ESA roadmap in 2007 (as scheduled, officials say) by putting applications on top of its services-based architecture, there are five "simple steps" users need to take to get on board, Agassi said. He said they must make sure there is a solid master data management backbone in place; upgrade to mySAP ERP 2005 ("Its not such a big step," said Agassi); expand the use of the suite to encompass concepts like on demand or PLM (product lifecycle management); drive analytics to the masses; and connect the knowledge worker into the new environment through data and processes. "Hopefully this is valuable," said Agassi. "Weve opened up processes [and] accelerated information." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
Agassi said SOA is based on a set of standards that businesses and the IT industry, by and large, agree on.