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Breaking into ESA

Expert Jon Reed discusses how outside experiences can be helpful for breaking into SAP and ESA.

I have elaborated on an architectural framework which is very similar to ESA since 2000. With this framework, I successfully delivered several enterprise-scale business process integration solutions. In my experience, this framework economized considerably the required resources while automating routine business activities. It is good for transforming a historically-grown complex system of systems into a coherent and smoothly evolving business environment. Also, this framework helps to build solutions which are in compliance with the basic requirements of the ISO 9001 quality management system.

I have seen painful SAP implementations and felt sorry because the most of the problems can be avoided by proper architecting. At present, I am concentrating on the practical aspects of architecting future flexibility for BPM on SOA solutions. Can my experince be useful at SAP?

If you have been following SAP, as it sounds like you have, then you know that ESA is becoming an important focus for SAP in its marketing. Not that many SAP customers are using ESA yet, but with your experience in architecture design you might fit in very well with the SAP ESA market once it takes off. The challenge will be to time the market right, as companies are not aggressively implementing ESA across the board yet.

It seems to me that your skills could be applied to non-SAP environments also, so you may be able to learn about SAP and find the right time to break in while continuing your non-SAP consulting. Just remember when you talk to SAP customers, try to avoid coming off like you have all the answers for why their implementations go wrong or need fixing. The fact is that many SAP installations have been very successful. True, some companies are struggling with SAP, but the high profile disasters are mostly footnotes in SAP's history now. At this point, the success of an SAP install depends on many factors, and architecture design is a big one, but it's far from the only one. If you take that big picture approach and really learn how SAP's ESA solution works, you might have a lot to contribute to SAP customers.

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