SAP bolsters cloud portfolio with Financials OnDemand

The cloud-based alternative to SAP's on-premise financials software serves data on processes and performance, and continues the German company's push to cover all the cloud bases.
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

SAP has bulked up its cloud portfolio with a service that delivers financial data to any mobile enterprise device.

The availability of SAP Financials OnDemand, part of the German software maker's One Cloud push, was announced on Wednesday at the SAP Sapphire Now and TechEd conference in Madrid.

The service, powered by SAP's in-memory computing platform Hana, provides a cloud-based alternative to the company's on-premise SAP Financials software. It is particularly suited to larger companies that run SAP Financials on-premise, but have subsidiaries that rely on different legacy finacial software. Switching these subsidiaries to SAP Financials OnDemand will bring them onto the same platform.

SAP said that having Hana underneath the system allows Financials OnDemand to deliver real-time accounting and insights.

It serves a wide range of financial information, including reports and analysis, and can be set up to deliver simple content for staff with little financial expertise to highly detailed reports. Financial information can be served to a variety of smartphones or tablets, allowing staff to use the figures on the move.

It has built-in support for global accounting standards, currencies, tax requirements and compliance. It is on sale now in eight countries: the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands, India and Australia.

"My judgement is it is a little early to be releasing this," said Henry D Morris, senior vice-president of worldwide software and services research at analyst house IDC. However, he noted that the move fits with "SAP's strategy of allowing customers to source single line-of-business needs from the cloud."

The release of Financials OnDemand helps SAP deliver on its Cloud One push to provide cloud products that serve "people, finances, customers and suppliers". It already has a service targeting customers with SAP CRM OnDemand; people, through SuccessFactors; and suppliers, through Ariba. It also has its cloud business suites, Business ByDesign and Business One.

Social deals

At the Madrid conference, SAP also revealed it has added deal-specific collaboration rooms to SAP Customer OnDemand, its cloud-based service for sales, service and marketing organisations. The rooms, which use the SAP Jam social software platform, enable a company's sales teams and in-house experts to connect with their customers.

In addition, the company announced it has released platform support pack stack 5 for Hana. Known as SPS5, this will converge database services for transaction, analytics, text and predictive processing with application services for the application server, planning, rules and event stream processing within one in-memory based architecture.

SPS5 will also support large-scale datacentre deployments, as it now has expanded support for high availability, disaster recovery and security.

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