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SAP Co-Innovation Lab Tokyo Opening

SAP Co-Innovation Lab Tokyo opened its doors on July 16, and engagements with partners are already in full swing. A project with partner
VMware already demonstrates the various application possibilities for virtualization.

To Axel Saleck, co-innovation means at least two parties joining forces to work on a new solution with market potential. Axel is vice president in the Global Ecosystem & Partner Group, and heads up the recently opened SAP Co-Innovation Lab Tokyo. Like its counterparts in Palo Alto and Bangalore, the facility serves as a playground for state-of-the-art technologies and products from SAP and various partner and customer organizations. "The benefit of a co-innovation lab for partners is that they can work in an environment offering and supporting the latest from SAP, even if the technology has not yet been made generally available," Axel says. 

Around 70 VIPs and representatives from 25 endorsed partners attended the opening ceremony and listen to speeches and presentations given by Zia Yusuf, EVP and head of the Global Ecosystem & Partner Group, as well as by the President and CEO of SAP Japan.SAP Japan was represented by various lines of business, demonstrating the tight relationship between the field organization and the newly opened Co-Innovation Lab Tokyo. The SAP press release on the launch was furthermore accompanied by an introduction video.

Engagements with Partners 

SAP Co-Innovation Lab Tokyo opened its doors on July 16 2008, but colleagues at the location have been pushing engagements with partner's forward months ahead of time, making significant progress in areas such as service-oriented architecture and Green IT.

In one project, SAP and its partner VMware Japan developed a methodology for using virtualization technology to reduce the time and cost of upgrades to
SAP ERP. Using VMware snapshot capabilities, the two companies have enabled customers to perform upgrades in a staged approach in which they can roll back to previous snapshots when they encounter issues that would have been costly to rectify otherwise. In a traditional, physical upgrade, the customer would have to either spend valuable time and resources solving the issue or start the upgrade anew.

Virtualization, a focus area at SAP Co-Innovation Lab in Palo Alto as well, has already brought customers valuable returns. San Francisco-based EFI, a
leading digital print service provider, implemented the VMware Infrastructure 3 environment to upgrade its SAP modules. With the VMware virtualization
environment, the company cut the upgrade period from six months to four. And they were able to pack in more testing throughout the upgrade.


Co-Innovation in Practice 

SAP has invited many other partners to its co-innovation lab in Tokyo. At the July 16 opening, the lab was endorsed by names like ABeam Consulting Ltd., Dell Japan Inc., FUJITSU LIMITED, F5 Networks Japan, HITACHI, IBM Business consulting services IBM Japan, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Co, Mitsubishi Electric Information Systems Corporation, NEC Corporation, NetApp, REALTECH JAPAN, Sun Microsystems, Tecnos Japan, and Toyo Business Engineering Corporation.

As Axel explains, collaboration with these high-caliber partners reminds him of his years in academia. "Like Researchers, experts convene on the lab in
Tokyo to work side by side, documenting the results", he says. Teams from both SAP and partners meet regularly to sync up not just with development, but with the SAP Japan's field organization as well the colleagues who ultimately take the innovation to the market."

The Importance of Japan "The establishment of an SAP Co-Innovation Lab in Japan underscores SAP's commitment to the world's second largest economy", Axel says. Japanese companies have won their global market share by developing innovative ideas and making their products accessible to many. "Decades back, the just in time inventory practice would have been regarded as a Japanese process," Axel says. "Now it is a worldwide best practice. SAP's own RFID initiatives can be traced back to proposals delivered by its R&D and development location in Japan. We want to leverage this kind of innovation for the growth of our customers, our partners, and SAP", Axel says.

Throughout 2008, SAP Co-Innovation Lab Tokyo will investigate and deliver on innovations spanning technologies in general to specific applications. Projects include continued application of virtualization technology and further investigation of its value for business applications, as well as
partner-delivered enterprise services and innovation specific to applications that utilize enterprise SOA, such as SAP Business Suite and solutions for the
small and midsize enterprise space.

""Japanese customers strongly believe that IT should adapt to their business, which is a requirement that plays well to SOA", Axel says. SAP has come together with partners to validate the advantages of these technologies for our customers."

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