At SAP TechEd in Las Vegas today, one of the topics during the keynote was open innovation and how SAP wants to build technology that works for the kinds of IT landscapes that customers have. SAP is saying the reality is that IT landscapes are heterogeneous and that’s the way customers like it, and that this whole stack approach that vendors such as Oracle are pushing just doesn’t work. The “open” part in open innovation is about SAP working with an ecosystem of developers and partners to build offerings that interoperate. But part of open innovation means that innovation must make sense for the customer. SAP said new technologies it brings out must interplay with systems customers already have. But executive vice-president Marge Breya later said in a press conference that following the release of NetWeaver 7.3 (due out next month), SAP will think about how it might rebrand its different lines of technology: NetWeaver, Sybase, Business Objects. In light of wanting to innovate in a way that makes sense for the customer, I’m not sure rebranding is an effort that makes a lot of sense. Rebranding may render a stronger perception of unity and interoperability, but customers really only care about what the technology can really do for their business at the end of the day.
Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau