Welcome to the party, SAP

Welcome to the party, SAP

Summary: As the minutes tick away to the launch of SAP's long-awaited A1S, my inbox has been filling up with emails from incumbent SaaS vendors, eager to pitch in with their own reactions

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TOPICS: Emerging Tech, Cloud, SAP
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As the minutes tick away to the launch of SAP's long-awaited hosted ERP system for the midmarket, hitherto codenamed A1S, my inbox has been filling up with emails from incumbent SaaS vendors, eager to pitch in with their own reactions to what they expect SAP to announce. Trouble is, they don't really know the detail of what SAP is going to unveil, so they're taking stabs in the dark. Several common themes emerge in their comments:

  • At long last, SAP has realized SaaS is the future. Welcome to the party.
  • But does SAP realize just how much of readjustment it is to adopt SaaS? We doubt it.
  • SAP's financial model is built around selling client-server licenses. It won't adjust easily to a subscription model. The sums just won't add up.
  • A1S is supposed to target generic midmarket companies, but we're finding that most of our customers have vertical needs that A1S won't cater for.

We'll find out the answers to these and other questions imminently. Yet however dismissive of SAP's new product these other vendors pretend to be, their reaction certainly underlines that this is one of the most important SaaS announcements of the year.

Topics: Emerging Tech, Cloud, SAP

Phil Wainewright

About Phil Wainewright

Since 1998, Phil Wainewright has been a thought leader in cloud computing as a blogger, analyst and consultant.

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  • SAP brings competition for the first time to SaaS

    I've read the latest releases, and I'll stick to my original instinct about A1S:

    It brings competition to the SaaS market for the first time.

    For so long, SaaS has been all about SaaS vs Conventional software. There hasn't been that much need or room for dialog about making better SaaS. SAP's entry to the market will forever change that. First, they tremendously accelerate the legitimacy of the SaaS model. Soon, we will quit arguing about whether SaaS is even a good idea and start the mopping up operations--is it a good idea for this segment or that segment? Second, their broad-based suite touches a lot of people's territory. They'll all need to have an answer for how they compare.

    I think it's great. Marc Benioff has done a fabulous job evangelizing the SaaS model, and now he's going to get a lot of help.

    See my blog for more:

    http://smoothspan.wordpress.com/2007/09/15/saps-a1s-brings-competition-to-saas-for-the-first-time/
    BobWarfield