SAP Splits Software Dev, Product Innovation

The company announces an organizational restructuring of its executive board that will bring development of its Business Solutions Group under the purview of board member Shai Agassi.

To better enable customer responsiveness and speed of decision-making, SAP on Tuesday announced an organizational restructuring of its executive board that realigns software development and product innovation into separate camps.

Under the new structure, effective immediately, SAP AG executive board member Shai Agassi will lead software development for the entire company, a realignment that not only keeps NetWeaver development under Agassis purview, but also adds SAPs Business Solutions Group development.

The Business Solutions Group develops applications aligned around specific areas such as CRM (customer relationship management) and SCM (supply chain management).

Agassi also will be responsible for product marketing.

Under the new structure, Peter Zenke is taking on research and breakthrough technology—an area SAP defines as products that are not part of the normal product evolution process.

That includes the application development of SAPs Business Process Platform—and the new business process-based software that will run on it.

The Business Process Platform, announced last month, is the next step for SAP and its Enterprise Services Architecture. Where ESA is the overall architecture for an SOA (service-oriented architecture), and NetWeaver is the integration platform, BPP will bring "ready-to-run" business processes that are available as services, according to SAP officials.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead more here about SAPs Business Process Platform.

"We have worked very intensely over the last year to finalize our strategy for the next five years, and collectively, the board came to this conclusion [for a restructuring]," SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said in a news conference Tuesday morning.

"If we look to the different possible organizational structures, the best one is agility and responsiveness to customers. What we do [to accomplish that] is bringing three business solutions groups into one. If you saw the impact of the BPM platform, it would make sense to have all those products under one [umbrella]."

Under the realignment, Kagermann is giving up day-to-day responsibilities to focus more on strategy. He will remain as CEO.

Claus Heinrich, who remains as head of Global Human Resources, now manages SAPs global research and development centers. He also is responsible for the final production and delivery of SAPs software.

Leo Apotheker will continue is his role as head of global sales and field services, and will take on the additional global-marketing responsibilities from Kagermann.

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