Yes it works. IBM has been modernizing its internal CIO business and IT infrastructure. The project is in it's fifth year and will better enable IBM to be a globally integrated enterprise. Thousands of internal systems are being replaced or modernized (a lot of replacing). We made a decision to start with SAP for ERP and CRM function, where appropriate. There was a lot of debate as to how we should integrate SAP with our legacy and portfolio systems. The short story is that we created an inner ring / outer ring architecture. What happens in SAP (at non IBM cost) stays in SAP - the inner ring. Any time we need to extend SAP with code, or to integrate with non SAP systems, this is implemented in the IBM platform - the outer ring. I expect that we got this85% correct and need to revisit a few of the approaches. Basically, for heterogeneous projects, the IBM integration platform works very well. SAP as an application provider works well. And our legacy systems work well enough. The slippery slope is when we started to write code in SAP. The maturity of that integration platform is years behind what we offer in IBM and used ourselves. Topics like error handling, stability of APIs, transaction integrity, performance, standards and tools come to mind.
To share what what we have done, we created an IBM Reference Architecture for SAP. This is a set of documents that are used by our field teams on how to do similar projects, and there are many. Did I mention that the IBM modernization is first in several largest categories? To our knowledge, this is the largest project inside in IBM in history, the largest project our services team has delivered, and the largest SAP modernization in history.
Bottom line, IBM has a compelling and market leading approach to using SAP in heterogeneous environments. Integration is an IBM sweet spot - integration of user interface, mobile, processes, monitoring, management, security, data, systems, etc.
We will talk about this at Innovate 2013 in Orland in a few weeks. Hope to see you there.