In early January, Supply Chain Matters shared our impressions of independent blogger Vinnie Mirchandani’s new book, SAP Nation-a runaway software economy. The book provides a ten year perspective on SAP, summarizing conversations, observations and case studies among the ecosystem that makes up the “SAP Nation”, including customers, partners, market observers and others. The book quantifies an astounding $1 trillion ecosystem beholden to SAP’s success. The book further describes why other cloud-based competitors have been able to gain attraction among the existing SAP customer base because of the building business pressures and frustrations over elongated development timelines, burdensome software and ongoing support costs. The consequence is described as a ring fence of applications that more and more, are surrounding SAP applications. Since its publication, this author has recommended this book to many of our clients.

After the book’s publishing, Vinnie’s Deal Architect blog has featured added content and responses that have been generated from the book, particularly the described “ring fence” strategy that customers have undertaken. One of the most recent postings features highlights of an interview with E2open’s Chief Marketing Officer, Michael Schmitt.  The commentary describes current E2open customers such as Avnet, Avon, Hewlett Packard, L’Oreal and Shell, specifically how they are exercising various ring fence strategies.

This author has likewise observed such strategies and has spoken to some of these companies and other regarding their technology augmentation strategies.

Vinnie’s summary observation: “Individually, you could dismiss them (SAP backbone customers) as small cracks in the frozen tundra, but there are many such cracks if you use a wide angle lens.”

Bob Ferrari

Disclosure: E2open, Inc. is one of other current sponsors of the Supply Chain Matters blog.