Share this content
MyCustomer.com

SAP gets SaaSy - at last!

by
19th Sep 2007
Share this content

SAP finally steps into the software as a service space with an announcement that CEO Henning Kagermann is calling the most important of his career.

By Stuart Lauchlan, news and analysis editor

SAP finally stepped up to the software as a service (SaaS) mark with the release of its mid-market hosted offering – and gave its product a new name.

At a formal launch in New York, SAP said that the software, which previously went under project codename A1S, will be called Business ByDesign. “I take pleasure in being the last executive from SAP to refer to A1S - we're burying the term today," said Bill Wohl, SAP vice president of product technology group communications.

"It is the most important announcement of my career I'm making today." Henning Kagermann, CEO, SAP

There’s a lot riding on SAP’s late entry into the SaaS arena which has been dominated by smaller firms such as Salesforce.com and NetSuite. Earlier this year, SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said the company plans to grow its total customer base from to 39,000 to more than 100,000 by 2010. Much of that growth, he said, will be tied to the mid-market.

"It is the most important announcement of my career I'm making today,” Kagermann said on Wednesday. "We designed this product to create a new market for us. From the beginning we designed it for end to end processes with a user interface people can tailor depending on roles and responsibilities. I believe what you see today is something no one else can offer.”

Selected customers

The subscription-based software is available now for "selected" customers in Germany and the US and will then go on sale in the UK, France and China. In the US, the starting price for SAP Business ByDesign be $149 per month per user. This price includes software, services and support, for companies with a minimum of 25 licensed users. “We expect the typical SAP Business ByDesign customer to have between 100 and 500 employees,” said Kagermann. “There is no maximum user limit; however, a minimum of 25 users must be licensed.”

"It's clear that SAP really took the time to understand how smaller businesses think and operate." Kevin Flanagan, CEO, Compass Pharma Services LLC

To date, less than 100 companies have tested the new SAP product. Kagermann forecast in April that A1S would become a "volume" business by the first quarter of next year and "a few thousand" companies would have signed up by the end of 2008. SAP has more than 41,000 clients and plans to increase that number to 100,000 by 2010.

Among the first 20 live customers in Germany and the United States are STEMME AG, a utility and sports aircraft manufacturer; Judge Consulting Group, a provider of business technology consulting services; MANTZ airmotions GmbH & Co. KG, a manufacturer of air fresheners for homes and vehicles; and Compass Pharma Services LLC. “It's clear that SAP really took the time to understand how smaller businesses think and operate," said Kevin Flanagan, CEO, Compass Pharma Services LLC. "We now plan to spend less than 25 percent of our original IT budget.”

Find out more about Stuart Lauchlan

Tags:

Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.