SAP AG: Orchestrating the ecosystem

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N - 9 - 6 0 9- 0 6 9 J AN U ARY 06 , 2 00 9 MARCO IANSI TI KARIM R. LAKHAN I SAP AG: Orchestrating the Ecosystem On a beautiful sunny afternoon in July 2007, Zia Yusuf, the Executive Vice President, Global Ecosystem and Partner Group at SAP, took a sip of his cappuccino as he walked into his office. Yusuf found a new PowerPoint deck on his desk and his attention turned to Nakisa Inc., a small software company seeking Tier 1 status within SAP. But for the Montreal-based succession-planning software company to achieve the prized Tier 1 status, there would have to be a business case presented to the Board, one that justified, on an array of criteria, the rationale for this award. If it did happen, tiny Nakisa would take its…show more content…
If so, does it mean that we should make it in-house? Is it really all that hard to make? Should we buy the company? If Nakisa became a strategic partner, could it accommodate the demands that SAP, with its tens of thousands of customers and multitudes of sales representatives and System Integrator partners, would place on it? How would this be perceived by the Board? SAP Background 1972-1995 Founded in Mannheim, Germany in 1972 by a small group of programmers originally from IBM, SAP staked out new ground in the automation of business processes, with a commitment to developing off-the-shelf applications that would be cheaper and more quickly installed than the customized solutions the big companies were then pursuing. Over the next three decades, SAP developed software that aimed to keep pace with fast-changing technological developments and client needs. Its first offering, R/1, was aimed at automating companies’ accounting functions. By 1980 SAP offered a mainframe database (R/2) package, which was replaced a little more than a decade later by a client/server version (R/3). R/3 could automate all of an enterprise’s business processes, from manufacturing to finance to human resources. It was the promise that companies could control resources and their allocations across complex enterprises that gave the software its name, enterprise resource planning, and made SAP an indispensable purchase all over the world. Over the years, SAP’s solution suite

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