Chapter 4. The SAP ESA Ecosystem: Enabling Collaborative Innovation

Ecosystem is a scientific term that deals with how all the elements in a community work together with the environment to function as a unit. There has always been a vibrant community surrounding SAP, including systems integrators, consultants, ISVs, and, of course, customers. As mentioned in previous chapters, one of the major components of SAP’s ESA strategy is the new way in which the company will work with these groups and the overall technology industry to solve comprehensive business problems. Why is SAP putting so much emphasis on evolving its collaborative customer and partner ecosystem? Because many of the company’s stated ESA-based plans will fail unless a vibrant one emerges.

SAP is now coordinating and participating in many new ecosystem activities. These include customers, other application providers, technology infrastructure vendors, systems integrators, and industry experts. The combined capabilities of the SAP NetWeaver platform, the resulting SAP business solutions, and the overall support network for ESA are all being enhanced as a result.

The creation of the ecosystem is significant for several reasons. First, it highlights the major business model change that is occurring in the industry. Remember that SAP is now competing as a complete process platform instead of simply a set of standalone packaged business applications. This gives ISVs and systems integrators a whole new way to productize their ...

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