SAP designs facility for 'agile' cloud application development

A new facility was specially designed to support the development methodology

SAP intends to become a major player in cloud-based software, and has been adopting agile software development practices as one means of reaching that goal.

Agile differs from waterfall development, where a project begins with a set of application requirements and proceeds in sequence through a number of stages, such as design, implementation and testing. Instead, agile developers seek to create iterations of a project at regular intervals, thereby allowing better fine-tuning of requirements and more input along the way from end-users and other participants.

SAP decided that its cloud development teams needed a special new workspace, one that reflects agile development's principles of adaptation, close collaboration and flexibility. The result was a 42,000-square-foot facility on SAP's Palo Alto, California, campus that opened this week.

"Cloud services development is almost exclusively agile these days," said IDC analyst Al Hilwa via email. "Traditional software vendors who are adding cloud services are investing heavily in agile as a result, and this building is a good indication of how serious SAP is about cloud."

All of the new building's furniture is on wheels and the walls are "writable," making it possible to quickly realign rooms for meetings and team spaces, according to SAP.

There are no cubicles or corner offices and the overall design emphasizes windows, natural light and a general sense of "transparency," SAP said in a statement.

The setup is also meant to accommodate various workers' personal styles and habits; introverts can find their privacy when they like, while those more prone to seek out collaborators have that option, according to the vendor.

Mike Tschudy , vice president of cloud product design, was deeply involved with the building's conception. He came to SAP from EBay and also did stints at Apple and WebMD.

Early reviews are positive, according to Tschudy, who recalled a telling remark one SAP employee made about the new facility: "This is the first time I've felt like I work in Silicon Valley."

While the facilities design approach and agile development practices are "propagating" across SAP little by little, the company recognizes they're not a fit for all tastes in the company, Tschudy said.

The push toward agile development for SAP's cloud software stems back to the tenure of former executive John Wookey, who arrived in 2008 to oversee development of applications for large companies. Wookey left SAP last year and recently took a job at Salesforce.com.

Meanwhile, SAP recently purchased cloud software vendor SuccessFactors for US$3.4 billion, a move that gave it a sizable customer base as well as additional know-how about how to run such businesses.

SuccessFactors CEO Lars Dalgaard will be in charge of SAP's overall cloud strategy, the details of which are expected to be spelled out at next month's Sapphire show.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?