Sometimes the real important news are hidden pretty well. I’ve experienced this once again at SAP TechEd in Munich. Despite several analyst briefings before and during the event I decided to attend a presentation on the status and future of SAP NetWeaver Identity Management. At the very end of the presentation there came a slide about the relationship of CUA and SAP NetWeaver Identity Management which said that CUA will be replaced by SAP NetWeaver Identity Management on the long term.

That is really important news. CUA is the Central User Administration in the SAP environments, allowing to centrally manage users for several instances of SAP system with ABAP based local user management – which means in fact most of the core business systems in the SAP environment. For sure SAP will support a coexistence of CUA and SAP NetWeaver Identity Management. But the strategic solution is SAP NetWeaver Identity Management.

Due to the fact that an ABAP only focus isn’t sufficient for the user management in SAP environments, that is important (and positive) news for existing CUA users as well. And there are many options to use CUA together with SAP NetWeaver Identity Management in the future. But it is an aspect which influences as well decisions on CUA implementations as the overall Identity Management strategy – and the Identity Management market in general.

This new role of SAP NetWeaver Identity Management will in fact lead to a situation where the product will be used in a very high percentage of all SAP implementations at least for provisioning to the local user managements of the different SAP systems.  For sure a customer could also decide to use another’s vendor product for what he is doing today with CUA and with another provisioning solution. And there will be many customers who will use SAP NetWeaver Identity Management as a CUA replacement together with another product.

But overall the CUA replacement is one of the strongest arguments SAP has for its NetWeaver Identity Management, besides the important role the product will play for the future evolvement of the NetWeaver platform. And the positioning as CUA replacement has to have impact on the IAM strategies of all SAP customers. They should analyze the pros and cons of all options, from “pure SAP” to “non SAP”. That’s not only about CUA and the provisioning, but will be influenced as well from the plans SAP has for IAM in the NetWeaver- and overall SAP-scope. I’ll talk about these plans more in the next weeks as well as in an upcoming report on SAP’s IAM strategy.