SAP TechEd, bringing together thousands of SAP professionals every autumn, is the largest venue for SAP technical professionals to exchange information in person on everything from ABAP to Z Tables. But SAP TechEd, held mid-way through the year from SAP’s primary customer-facing conference, SAPPHIRE NOW, is also an opportunity for SAP to give updates on its strategy.
Here are two areas to watch for new information at SAP TechEd Las Vegas later this month.
SAP’s acquisition of Ariba, announced back in May of this year, closed this Monday. With Ariba, SAP has obtained widely-used procurement and e-commerce cloud software and a huge network of buyers and suppliers.
It’s clear that SAP has ambitious plans for its new Ariba assets (SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott told the Wall Street Journal that SAP aims to double the Ariba network, currently 730,000 strong, by 2015) but SAP professionals will be curious about the details of how SAP will combine it’s existing enterprise software with Ariba’s software and network. What integration points will SAP build between Business Suite and Ariba? Will Ariba and SAP Information Interchange OnDemand, based on Crossgate’s software, be combined, stay separate, or will one replace the electronic document sharing functions of the other? How will SAP SRM and Ariba work together?
Even though SAP just closed the Ariba deal on Monday, we should learn more about SAP’s plans for Ariba at SAP TechEd Las Vegas this month.
While SAP has traditionally been an application vendor, in the past few years, SAP has been quickly buying and building a number of platforms: mobility, HANA, cloud. More recently, SAP has been more actively encouraging third party developers to create apps on SAP platforms by such measures as giving developers free licenses to develop on HANA and the Sybase Unwired Platform using low-cost AWS instances.
During TechEd Las Vegas, it’s possible that we may see an announcement for the general release of SAP’s newest platform, NetWeaver Cloud. SAP is already using this platform-as-a-service as the basis for the new SAP Precision Retailing solution.
Along with news about SAP NetWeaver Cloud, we may also learn more from SAP about how their plans for making SAP NetWeaver Cloud, the other SAP cloud applications such as SuccessFactors and Business ByDesign, HANA, and SAP’s mobility platforms all work together.