SAP is embarking on a restructuring process that will see the company turn its focus on extended enterprise and collaborative processing rather than traditional internal-facing systems.
The new strategy, unveiled in Lisbon at SAPPHIRE, SAP’s European user group conference, its new group strategy includes the following business entities:
SAP Portals, recently formed to handle the next generation Workplace product, which incorporates the recently acquired TopTier drag-and-relate technology and the outcome of the new relationship with Yahoo!
SAPMarkets, responsible for SAP’s marketplace products including MarketSet, the joint system developed with Commerce One
SAP Solutions, set to handle Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), including project lifecycle management
The restructuring is meant to enable each entity to focus expertise on independent development, relationships, and marketing while maintaining cohesion to the corporate goals with shared technology benefits, explains technology market expert Nigel Montgomery of AMR Research . For example, SAP Portals builds on the core drag-and-relate technology from TopTier. As a separate group, SAP Portals can maintain relationships with other vendors, such as Baan, which currently uses TopTier products as the basis of its portal strategy, without clashes of interest with the SAP Solutions group.
"The apparent independence does beg a question of how the disparate sales channels will position the varying elements and how development will be co-ordinated," cautions Montgomery. "Just like growing children, loosening the parental reins does enable individual growth, but be sure that father will not be far away to correct any waywardness.
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