SAP goes modular with latest Business Suite version

SAP has split its business software suite into modules with the launch of its latest version 7 today.

The German software maker said the modular nature of the new Business Suite 7 would help its customers respond more quickly to the economic downturn at the same time as reducing any barriers to upgrading.

The package also builds on the firm's acquisition of business intelligence (BI) software vendor Business Objects last year, by using select analytics capabilities from the joint product portfolio.

Analyst firm Gartner said that such a modular approach would likely prove popular.

"Today, large enterprises are sceptical of IT projects that involve foundational investments that aren't tied to delivering fast value to users," said Jeff Woods, managing vice president of enterprise resource process (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) for Gartner.

"Big projects that only promise a foundation for future value delivery are too risky, too costly, and the benefits are difficult to justify to business leaders. Enterprises want integrated IT solutions that require only investment that is tied to immediate business value - but without losing the cost, information integrity and process integrity benefits that a strategic suite provides."

To deliver this modular suite, SAP has developed what it calls value scenarios' that offer end-to-end business processes with a focus on industry-specific outcomes that span organisational boundaries and application silos.

SAP said value scenarios would allow customer to implement version 7 of the suite in a step-wise fashion and deployed as customers need them.

Examples of industry-based value scenarios include "integrated product development" for discrete manufacturing industries, "collaborative demand and supply planning" for high tech and consumer products companies, and "integrated sourcing and procurement" for all industries.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.