A couple of weeks back, Spend Matters broke the story that SAP SRM 6.0 would not go G/A. I hope to have additional information and insights to share in the coming weeks on what this will mean for the technology market and SAP customers, but in the meantime, I thought I would share some thoughts from the TechTarget SAP blog which recently interviewed Forrester's Andrew Bartels about the SRM 6.0 situation. In this post, I will report rather than analyze. As an aside, it appears that Andrew and I have very different opinions about what these means for the market and SAP, but it's always good to get another opinion.
According to Tech Target, "SAP says between 10 and 50 companies are in the ramp-up phase for SAP SRM 6.0 (Bartels puts that number closer to 10 or 20). Bartels said these companies will be able to continue implementing the product, but SAP will not be taking any new customers ... so, is this a disaster for SAP? Not according to Bartels ... On the plus side, the SRM 2007 product itself doesn't have a lot of new features and functionality, according to Bartels. Rather, most of the improvements were in usability, and SAP may have some service packs in the offing to help in that area ... SAP will also continue developing the areas that have needed the most attention -- spend analysis, CLM (contract lifecycle management) and e-sourcing -- all of which will be available for sale separately."
Having personally dug into SRM 5.0 and what was planned for the general release of 6.0 -- not to mention talking extensively to customers and channel partners -- I disagree with Andrew's analysis. But the more debate and discussion around the topic, the better. And stay tuned for more of it on Spend Matters, including what I hope will be some dissenting opinions relative to mine. The last thing we need is for vendors, analysts, the media consultants and customers to create information vacuums and silos regarding this topic. With more information available to them, customers will be able to make the best choice to wait for SAP or find temporary or permanent procure-to-pay solutions prior to SAP's 7.0 SRM release in late 2008 or 2009.