SAP and Enterprise Transactions, Conversations & Relationships

SAP Ventures investment in LinkedIn highlights how SAP is looking to broaden its strategic leadership of "transaction" software by integrating with social "relationship" solutions.

SAP Ventures is extremely excited to partner with one of the leading Internet companies in the world, said Doug Higgins, partner at SAP Ventures. We made this investment because we believe that when Web 2.0 technologies are thoughtfully applied to the enterprise, they can produce significant efficiencies for small, medium and large companies.

I believe the Enterprise is the sum of its transactions conversations and relationships.  Thinking about the enterprise as the flow of all the transactions, conversations and relationships focused on the development, delivery and support of products and services to customers provides an interesting framework for how the enterprise software industry will evolve with the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 innovations.    

Enterprise Transaction Conversation Relationship    

For the last 15+ years, the enterprise software industry has focused on organizing and optimizing the value of transactions.   The emergence of ERP, SCM and CRM software markets worth billions of dollars annually have, for the most part, focused on innovations that structure and track enterprise transactions across numerous business processes.  Improvements in the scale and reliability of business process software, database infrastructure and transaction reporting and analytics have helped drive process efficiency gains across the enterprise.
In the next 15+ years, as Enterprise 2.0 emerges and matures, the enterprise software industry will be focused on organizing and optimizing the flow of conversations and relationships for enterprise users and customers.    While continuing to optimize transactions will be important, innovation and new value for users will come from the "humanizing" impact found in sensing, threading and sharing user conversations and relationships with and across the enterprise.  Today, much of the conversational and social content – and related metadata - generated by the volume of interactions with and across the enterprise has been locked away.  The value untapped. 

As Enterprise 2.0 innovations emerge, the soul of the enterprise will be found in enabling users to follow and filter the flow of their most important, most relevant transactions, conversations and relationships with colleagues, customers and communities.

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