We are all working around a strange dilemma. Due to the economic recession, investments have been postponed and maintenance to ERP environments brought down to the minimum. On the other hand we see a great effort from traditional ERP vendors to broaden their control of the stack, but more important to innovate around the end-user of their systems. The final GO from SAP on their acquisition of Sybase is a good example.

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to visit the Silicon Value area and speak some vendors, including SAP. This was not about the developments of the Business Suite 7 stack, but was all about cloud, in-memory, integrating their collaboration tool with the BS7 backbone. Although my knowledge of technology and SAP is quite up-to-date, it took every cell in my brain to grasp the potential and the impact of what this all will have on the potential for our customers.

The challenge will not so much be whether the new technology of the “traditional” ERP vendors will be able to impact your profit growth, it now all comes to the capability of your organisation to shape your IT Competence Centres towards the future.

Within Capgemini we are taking this very seriously by defining the roles of the future in the SAP landscape and determining the path to train and educate our consultant towards that future. But for every large SAP customer, the same urgency will arise.

If you are serious in taking your business from Business-IT Alignment to Business-IT Convergence within the SAP landscape, start thinking about the roles in your organisation or leverage on our thinking. Start to think out of the boundaries and don’t let the current economic downturn throw dust in your eyes.

Frank Wammes