Simplicity Defined

Scott Francis
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You know I like a good discussion of simplicity, but sometimes we have to call out the lack thereof.  The charts on the Aris BPM blog illustrating how simple the SAP BPM story could be: From this “simple” slide, we’re to infer that SAP has a more complete offering (er, vision) for BPM than just NetWeaver. I agree with the author of the article that SAP’s BPM message needs to improve – by most definitions NetWeaver is more integration than BPM.  And SAP’s “CAF” (Collaborative Application Framework) which was once described as “beyond” BPM and coming in “two years”, sounded like a subset of BPM as well. There have been some interesting demos (Gravity).  But the thing that strikes me about the chart is that I still don’t understand what SAP products are doing for my business process needs.  I can’t tell if these are the names of SAP products or just general ideas of what you would want to do if you are at the intersection of management control and strategy (financial management??). But the prescribed solutions are listed thusly:
  1. The Forrester BPMS vision of SAP is mostly based on the capabilities of the Netweaver BPM platform and not on the complete BPM vision of SAP
  2. SAP does not sufficiently communicate their complete BPM vision towards the market research companies like Forrester and Gartner.
  3. The SAP platform is not considered the best of breed BPMS platform by the market research firms like Gartner and Forrester
  4. The BPMS capabilities framework of Gartner and Forrester could be extended in order to capture the capabilities the SAP platform can offer.
So… the problem is that Forrester (and Gartner) are only looking at one of many products to place SAP on the BPMS frameworks… and that Forrester and Gartner aren’t sufficiently taking into account the SAP platform’s many other capabilities.  And, this is mostly a problem of communication/marketing, rather than say, substance.

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