I'm planning on heading down to SAP Sapphire next month to better understand the latest and greatest procurement and supply chain initiatives coming out of Waldorf these days. Despite my frequent criticism of SAP on Spend Matters due to product delays and related matters, I'm actually quite bullish this year on where our favorite German ERP provider is headed from a Spend Management perspective. If all goes as planned, 2009 should be the year when SAP breaks free from the hole it dug itself with SRM 6.0, going G/A -- most likely sometime this summer/fall from what I've heard -- with a new core P2P application (which, thanks to some forthcoming hosting options from third-parties, will not necessarily require an organization to upgrade to the latest SAP back-end to take advantage of some of its new features, including a streamlined UI and added services procurement capabilities -- though I suspect the united contract objects capability will require a forklift upgrade). I also expect SAP to highlight spend analysis and their sourcing roadmap / success stories quite a bit as well. Which makes sense. After all, cost cutting is where the CIO/CFO emphasis is these days. With all the savings companies could get from SAP procurement and spend related applications (or best of breed ones, for that matter), perhaps they might even have enough left over to fund their next major ERP upgrade.