SAP has spruced up its software-as-a-service technology, Business ByDesign, by launching Feature Pack 2.0, as it looks to build its customer base.
The Business ByDesign Enterprise Resource Planning software for mid-sized companies, is SAP's first significant foray into software provided over the internet and its success is likely to influence the way the German business-software giant fares in the future.
Among the new features that the update includes are a number of tools designed to allow for better decision making. For example there is better integration of customer relationship management tools with processes such as automated billing, project profitability, resource management and expense reimbursement.
SAP says FP 2.0 also improves visibility of supply chains to improve management of procurement, manufacturing and logistics.
In terms of streamlining processes and speeding up execution, FP 2.0 has improved tools for campaign management and response handling, management of resource pools and quality assurance. There is also a tool called Payment Monitor that can initiate and monitor all payment activity within the company.
FP 2.0 also has new tools to help improve end-user productivity such as more simplified personalisation tools.
According to SAP, Business ByDesign forms a significant part of its long-term strategy, with development on track despite the company announcing in spring 2008 it would cut investment in the technology by around €100m (£60m)that year with no further "accelerated" investment planned for 2009.
In May this year, a SAP senior executive announced a mobile version of Business ByDesign would be available in the near future.