Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

November 6, 2006

Shai Agassi

Looking Forward with Shai Agassi

SAPís president speaks to about the future of enterprise software, his company plans for SOA and SMB, and how much you can learn from making mistakes.

By M.R. Rangaswami, Sand Hill Group

When Shai Agassi joined the management of SAP AG in 2001, it turned many heads. The German company had found its first non-German board member in the 34-year old Agassi, an Israeli native who was brought on board through SAPís acquisition of his fourth start-up, TopTier Software.

Since then, Agassi has continued to turn heads. Now president of SAPís product and technology group and executive board member, his efforts to push SAP forward have been well-received, including Duet (the joint offering from SAP and Microsoft), SAP CRM on-demand, SAP xApps Composite Applications as well as many other products and solutions. And Agassiís keynote on Business Process Co-Innovation at the Software 2006 address was one of the eventís highlights. spoke with Agassi about his views on the industry, SAPís plans and his advice for other software executives.


New at Software Finance
A one-stop destination for the latest software stock, M&A and VC data.

The new Finance section compiles the news, data and deals which drive the software industry. Debuting this month, the Sand Hill 30 stock index charts the progress of 30 companies which best represent the new world of enterprise software and services. The M&A and venture capital sections showcase software industry trends, the most recent deals and hand-picked news on the latest partnerships. We will continue to add and revise these pages in the coming months so send us your feedback.

Avoiding the Fate of Tower Records

Erik Keller The digitization of the music industry has been rapid ñ and Tower Records was just one of many casualties. But as Erik Keller wandered the aisles of his college music haunt for the last time, the potential for some software companies to experience a similar fate became clear. Read Erikís post to his Blog, The Software Critic, to see why vendors must pay better attention to the coming generation of IT buyers.

Analyzing the Oracle-Red Hat Move

Everyone cringed when Oracle announced its low-priced support for Red Hat. Oracleís aggressive move exploited Red Hatís one-trick nature and the combination does not seem to bode well for the open source companyís future. Guy Smith of Silicon Strategies takes a closer look at why the deal happened and what it means for the open source space in this weekís post to the Blog on open source.

Publish Your Perspectives!

The Blog wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to and weíll publish them in our blog.

Open Source Bedfellows

Microsoft and Novell bury the hatchet and uncover a future together in open source; plus, Sanjay's sentence, CA's rise, JotSpot's jackpot, Bangalore's renaming and Vista's launch. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the news summary

Donít Miss: How to Collaborate Better

Lower communication costs and globalization make for a tremendous opportunity for knowledge-industry workers to collaborate. Management must improve the networks through which this collaboration occurs in order to best take advantage of Enteprise 2.0 potential. Learn more in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

Poll: The Strangest Bedfellows?

Now that Microsoft and Novell are friendly, who will pair off next? Give us your opinion on who the strangest software bedfellows would be.
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions as to what the impact of Oracleís support would be on Red Hat.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Peoplesoft founder takes on Oracle again.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

KnowNow receives $13 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Google buys JotSpot.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Siderean Software names Michael Schmitt as CEO.
See who's made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments >>

Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the site.

Parting Thought

ìIt's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.î
ñAdlai Stevenson

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group