SAP’s Business ByDesign is their SaaS or cloud ERP offering. SAP moved into the Canadian market in February of 2011 and just signed their largest Business ByDesign (BBD) deal to date. The deal was penned with R3D Consulting, a SAP partner focusing on the automotive, metal and paper verticals. They had been using an unnamed financial system and will be bringing on about 450 users worldwide. R3D will be leveraging the flexibility of adding and removing users for project staffing. They’re also viewing it as a hands-on training in the BBD offering.
I was amused that R3D claims security and QA are two factors they like about SAP’s cloud-based offering. I interpret this to just be lip-service from a partner though. When I was working in that space, all we ever heard was that security and updates were two major concerns for prospects. I never felt it was a valid concern, we always knew that the vast majority of data theft occurred internally, primarily from disgruntled employees. None the less, it was a constant concern from prospects.
Last week SAP also launched a cloud based version of Business Objects business intelligence software. It leverages their HANA (High-performance Analytic Appliance) they unveiled earlier this year. HANA is supposed to churn through data faster by the way it utilizes memory; providing real-time calculation and removing the need for predefined data models. Unfortunately, that approaches the upper limit of my tech knowledge but its clear where they hope this will go. By leveraging this with their cloud BI, it allows average users the ability to access BI output (reports, and analysis) with less involvement from dedicated IT staff. As with any on-demand offering, SAP is touting the usual benefits: faster ROI along with faster and easier implementations.
In one of the articles I read, a recent survey of SAP users showed that many were confused by SAP’s direction and intent when it came to the cloud. One survey even indicated that 25% of SAP’s user-based didn’t even know what SAP had to offer in the cloud. I think all this news goes to show that SAP is not only looking to clarify their cloud offering, but that they’re confident in the space and are looking to expand in it.