But first, SAP will have to make some tough decisions about its product roadmap. SAP BW has been a foundation component for the Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) initiative, which overlaps substantially with OutlookSoft's offerings. Whichever apps it chooses to retain and develop further will need to be tweaked to integrate more directly into SAP's R/3 and Financials applications to meet customer expectations for a technology product from SAP.
Then there's the challenge of integrating into this next-generation performance management offering SAP Analytics and SAP BI, which are also on a different technology infrastructure than SAP SEM. There's also the challenge of providing an integrated technology stack that will operate across Finance, Operations and IT. And there's the need to educate SAP's services units and partners to meet a new cycle of demand for implementation and deployment.
Despite these many challenges, organizations using SAP ultimately are likely to find themselves with a much better solution set for financial performance management. With the recent acquisition of Pilot Software, SAP is rapidly catching up to compete effectively against Business Objects, Cognos, Infor and Oracle for the attention of large enterprise CFOs.
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Mark Smith is CEO And Senior Vice President of Research at Ventana Research. Write to him at [email protected].SAP has decided to retool its financial performance management offering. Why? The reason is the business software giant's announced acquisition of OutlookSoft… OutlookSoft comes with a strong Microsoft-based technology approach and capabilities for budgeting, planning, consolidation, reporting and analysis. If it can harness these, SAP has the potential to be a significant player for financial performance management.