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Update: my "monster" blog post "Making Sense of the SAP Influencer Summit 2010" is now up as well.

The Influencer Summit is one of those shows where those who aren't able to attend miss out on the chance to get their questions clarified in person. SAP is doing a better job of virtualizing this event (you can see some replays here - requires a free registration).

So in my coverage, I try to bring out some of the clarifications that you might miss if you can't be there yourself. No better way to do that than with an interview with Executive Board Member Vishal Sikka.

During this video, I asked Vishal to explain the significance of "core and edge," as it relates to SAP's Platform as a Service (PaaS). SAP announced this news at the Influencer Summit as a clarification of its on-demand application strategy. Vishal also touches on the significance of HANA and in-memory in this new on-demand landscape:


During the video, we referred to a slide SAP released at the Influencer Summit that maps out SAP's new "core and edge" OnDemand platform.

Here's the slide:

Not everything on the slide is completely self-explanatory, but this gives some idea of SAP's clarified OnDemand platform strategy. It's worth noting that this entire platform runs on a NetWeaver 8,0, a new version of NetWeaver that is simultaneously optimized for on-demand and streamlined for performance (since it won't have to power the entire Business Suite).

The "Edge" labelling you see above refers to SAP's lightweight extension Java platform that is most commonly called "River," as Vishal referred to in the video.

I wrote a piece for ERP Executive's Jargon Buster section called "Answering the Questions on SAP's OnDemand Strategy" that gets into more detail on these topics. Here are a few highlights from that piece that summarize the newsworthy aspects SAP shared at the Summit:

"On December 8, 2010, during his keynote for the SAP Influencer Summit, SAP's Peter Lorenz, Executive Vice President of SAP's On-Demand Solutions, announced new SaaS platform names and a clarified vision for SAP's OnDemand applications. Billed as a "Unified technology stack," SAP's OnDemand architecture will be standardized on a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering that includes "Next Generation Core," based on the Business ByDesign architecture, and "Next Generation Edge," a lightweight platform that merges SAP's lighter weight SaaS technologies including River and Oxygen (Oxygen being the environment in which SAP StreamWork was built).

SAP's new PaaS also provides a framework for UI enhancements for SAP applications, as well as a connection point to SAP's Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), which is where SAP's much-discussed "in-memory computing engine" that powers HANA fits into the picture. SAP will not rewrite all existing OnDemand apps for this new platform (example: Sourcing OnDemand will remain on "Frictionless"), but you can expect SAP to address platform confusion by ensuring all future OnDemand apps are built on this "unified stack" with "Next Generation Core" or "Edge" technologies."

You can read more details on that piece. I also have a longer blog coming out shortly on my general views on the SAP Summit- I'll link to it as soon as it is live. One final comment: after we shot the video, which we did quickly to get Vishal off to his next engagement, he told me he wished I'd asked him more about HANA. We'll get it next time, but in the meantime, SAP HANA: What it means for business and for your career came from SAP Mentor Vitaliy Rudnytskiy.

Ok, I'm off to finish some more Summit blog posts. If you're interested in a quick fix, I have posted all four of my Summit videos to the SAP Mentors YouTube channel, including my two interviews with Rainer Zinow, on ByD and "core versus edge," as well as Peter Lorenz's keynote preview video we shot in festive fashion next to a restaurant Christmas tree.