2) Application Life-Cycle Management: "Whether it may be instance consolidation, upgrades, test data management, or performance planning, these vendors ease the process of managing the SAP application life cycle." On the list: Hayes Technology, Hyperformix, Intellicorp, Panaya, Tidal Software, and West Trax.
3) Archiving, Storage, and Data Management: On the list: EMC and IBM Optim
4) License Management and Optimization: "Solutions in this category focus on helping clients manage their license usage. Many large enterprises lack the understanding of how much shelfware may be in production," Wang says. "In addition, the used software market provides users with opportunities to unload or acquire older releases of software." On the list: Flexera, SUSEN Software, and UsedSoft.
5) Microsoft Office Integration: "Organizations require easy ways to leverage Microsoft Office as an interface into SAP. Common scenarios include Outlook, Excel, Access, and Word integration." On the list: SAP Duet, Winshuttle.
6) Third-Party Maintenance: "Customers seeking relief from maintenance choose solutions that provide maintenance, tax updates, and regulatory changes for often half the cost of existing SAP maintenance prices. The clear leader in the market is Rimini Street though some other system integrators have been quietly providing such services." On the list: Rimini Street and "your system integrator of choice."
7) Virtualization: On the list: EMC and VMware.
The significance of Ray's list—and to an even greater extent the vast and global third-party SAP ecosystem—lies in the new need for CIOs and their organizations to be able to quickly and effectively wring every dollar's worth of value out of existing systems, applications, and infrastructure. As those customers look to combine that rigorous efficiency with an increasingly external focus on customers and prospects, there is simply no way that SAP or any other big software vendor will be able to move rapidly enough and broadly enough to satisfy the rapidly expanding need for all those extenders and accelerators and balancers and managers.
So we'll see the big software companies like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft expanding their engagement with high-quality partners/developers, in much the same way that we've seen SAP and IBM work more closely together, and Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft collaborate, and Oracle and Dell.
As this trend continues, be sure to check in with Ray for updates to the list (he promises deeper profiles of these 20 SAP Optimizers over the next several months) via this link from above or at A Software Insider's Point Of View.
Bob Evans is senior VP and director of
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