Aussies flock to SAP Business Suite 7

Forty per cent of SAP's Australian and New Zealand customer base has already chosen to migrate to the company's new platform, Business Suite 7, since it was made available earlier this year.

Forty per cent of SAP's Australian and New Zealand customer base has already chosen to migrate to the company's new platform, Business Suite 7, since it was made available earlier this year.

The upgrade means moving from SAP's traditional R/3 platform to the new suite — a combination of what the vendor believes are the best applications for doing different business functions such as customer relationship management. It was announced in February, and was made generally available in May.

Thirty nine and 47 per cent of Australian and New Zealand companies respectively had made the commitment to move to it, SAP ANZ Solutions manager Tim Wilkes told ZDNet.com.au yesterday. Those figures put the speed of adoption at 10 to 15 per cent faster than the last major release, R/3 4.6C, back in 2000, he said.

Customers truly saw the benefit, according to Wilkes. "The heart of it is that there are sound platform reasons for upgrading," he said.

Business Suite 7 was set to put an end to stove pipe systems, with data inside the company being linked with external feeds such as Twitter to give executives a complete view of its company and products. This creates more "clarity" for users, according to Wilkes, something useful in penny pinching times of crisis. Companies were able to use the suite to get a better idea of how the business is really operating — "instant gratification" in terms of information.

The new release also tackled a problem of battling through massive upgrades where the end result of billions of dollars worth of research and development was pushed through in one go. For Business Suite 7, SAP has expansion packages which come out every four to six weeks. Customers choose which of the new features they want in a check-box fashion.

"Once you've got [Business Suite 7] in you don't need to upgrade," Wilkes said. He believed customers were thinking about what they needed to do to get ready for better times.