SAP Continues to Build out NetWeaver Ecosystem

As I posted on Saturday, Frictionless Commerce became the latest partner to join SAP's NetWeaver ecosystem. For me, the announcement further illustrates that SAP is clearly embracing a strategy to partner with other Spend Management providers. While SAP will also continue to build out their own Spend Management capabilities, they appear to be focused as much -- or more -- on becoming the center of a broader development and partner community. The strategy brings to mind the famous Arabian proverb, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". By working with Ariba -- and now Frictionless -- SAP can offer greater Spend Management coverage and depth than its key competitor through its partners, giving customers fewer reasons to consider switching to Oracle. It also suggests that SAP is not interested in building out the 100% solution and recognizes the value that other vendors can contribute. This is in marked contrast to Oracle, who continues to attempt to build out capabilities to compete with best of breed providers on their level (which may in fact be the right strategy for them -- only time will tell). In fact, Oracle recently put out a press release noting that it was a "top three" performer in Forrester’s latest eSourcing Wave. SAP, in contrast, did not score as highly as Oracle in Forrester's report.

Jason Busch

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