It is interesting to see some of the perspectives in the blogosphere about the SAP Industry Analyst Summit. Dennis, Jeff, Jason, and Dan weigh in on various parts of the Summit. Thomas from SAP also gives his $0.02 worth. Josh does a good job describing the goodness of "SOA by Design". One thing I did not see in all of this commentary -- and it is quite surprising -- is the historical context around the new product "SOA by Design" (aka Project Vienna, A1S). This is not the first time SAP has created a product that was originally targeted at the midmarket or divisions of larger companies on a new architecture.
Anyone remember R/3? This was the same exact positioning SAP had for R/3 when it was first released circa 1992. At that time, R/2 was the enterprise solution that most customers used. R/2 ran on the mainframe. R/3 was a client/server solution that ran on Unix. It took several years for SAP to add functionality and improve the scalability of R/3 so it could be a replacement for R/2. When R/3 was introduced, SAP, to some extent, was in the right place at the right time with the right product. I do not think they thought in 1992 that R/3 would be a successor product to R/2.
SAP is older and wiser now. Though it will not say so publicly, I do not think it would be too disappointed if "SOA by Design" became the successor product to mySAP Business Suite. SAP has an ambitious goal of having 100,000 customers by the end of the decade. "SOA by Design" will need to play a major role for SAP to achieve this goal.