SAP's Netweaver Enabler of Change for Enterprises

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Byline: RED SAMAR

BRISBANE, Australia German software giant SAP AG is gung ho on its claim on the ability of its integration and applications platform Netweaver 2004 to become an enabler of change for many companies who are saddled with the spiralling cost of tying up multiple generations of incompatible software.

NetWeaver 2004, first unveiled last year, is the new technical foundation for SAPs popular application software, which is used by many of the worlds largest companies to digitize accounting, customer service, human resources and other corporate tasks.

In his keynote speech at the opening of the recent SAPPHIRE 2004 conference here, Shai Agassi, executive board member of the Walldorf, Germany-based firm said NetWeaver can bridge the gap between the budget-conscious CEO and the forward-looking CIO.

He said todays CEOs set the strategy for growth increasingly see IT investments as an extra cost, while on the other hand you have the CIOs who has the ability to execute, but is constrained in justifying additional IT investments. This results in a stalemate and a compromise where the existing IT landscape is maintained in order to keep the organization working.

He said by enabling change with the help of an open integration and applications platform like NetWeaver, hopefully this gap can be bridged

"The problem of TCO is solved because companies become more flexible to immediate changes in the periphery of their IT infrastructure while the core data set in NetWeaver remains intact. This eliminates the idea of IT becoming a crippling expense in the CEOs minds."

Meanwhile, Leo Apotheker, executive board member of SAP, says CEOs are mistaken in thinking about IT investments in relation to sales and revenue.

He said "the idea of driving down investment in IT is like saying that youll invest less on intelligence. Here lies the CIOs dilemma where IT is seen as an inhibitor rather than an enabler. …