During the Sapphire event, SAP is expected to highlight its vision of SOA (service-oriented architecture), and how thats applied to the core mySAP applications, according to SAP spokesperson Bill Wohl.
SAP has a "mature mySAP ERP [offering], particularly if you think about what ERP will look like in a service-enabled world," said Wohl, in Newtown Square, Pa.
"That includes the continuing maturity of our ecosystem around…Industry Value Networks around industries. We think we have a couple-year advantage over our competitor, where we can build a serious ecosystem."
With IVN, SAP is seeking to define a services standard for various industries. The goal, SAP officials say, is to enable users to conduct business processes across IT systems using SAP and partner services. However, IVN also ties users to NetWeaver.
The work SAP is doing with Nova Chemicals and Pavilion Technologies around the IVN for chemicals is a prime example.
Using NetWeaver and SAP composite applications, Pavilion has been able to tie in the production processes that its software controls in Novas manufacturing plants with the business processes contained in Novas ERP system.
Pavilion and Nova also are taking advantage of SAPs ESA capabilities by service-enabling Novas manufacturing processes.
"Were trying to develop that intersection between business processes and production processes," said Matt Tormollen, vice president at Pavilion, in Austin, Texas.
Pavilion and Nova are also taking advantage of SAPs ESA capabilities by service-enabling Novas manufacturing processes.
"As part of the Nova pilot, we have a Web services interface into the production model," said Tormollen.
"Then we expose the ability to be able to integrate that model ... into any application. We believe this opens up the next generation in manufacturing performance."
SAP execs are counting on this type of innovation to spur users to adopt its next-generation software.
"If SAP doesnt get its installed base to come along with it, its going to be hard to maintain the level of development that theyre doing," said Genovese.
"A lot of people who have signed license agreements [for MySAP ERP products] havent upgraded. To me, if you signed a license agreement and havent upgraded, that makes an unhappy customer." To date, SAP has 15 customers on MySAP ERP 2005, according to Gartner.
Novas Wheeler, who is also partnering with SAP and IDS Scheer to renovate the way it implements CRM and SRM (supplier relationship management) by taking a process model-based implementation approach, believes there is value in moving ahead with SAP, but only if users can tap newer capabilities.
"Right now its a major struggle to put this infrastructure in place," said Wheeler. "To begin to understand it and bring the CRMs and PLMs [product lifecycle management] online, and then to integrate it to the Pavilions of the world—we believe its worth it, but its not something you take on lightly."