SAP brings hosted ERP to Asia

The company brings its Business ByDesign product to Singapore, the second Asian country besides China.

SINGAPORE--SAP has brought its hosted ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite to the region.

Announced Tuesday, the company is releasing its Business ByDesign product to Singapore--the sixth country globally to receive it. The product is currently available in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China.

Hans-Peter Klaey, president of SAP's SME division, said at the launch event that Singapore was chosen because many regional offices are headquartered in the country.

SAP is targeting the suite at SMBs (small to medium sized businesses) employing between 100 to 500 staff.

Klaey said that a hosted solution "makes the most sense" for an SMB, because it takes the burden of building expensive infrastructure off the shoulders of the companies that may not have the capital freely available.

Historically, SAP has been in favor of on-premise installations. However, it launched a hosted CRM service in 2006, in a bid to capture the growing hosted CRM market.

Similarly, the company is eyeing the growing SMB SaaS market, which it estimates to be worth some US$15 billion.

According to Klaey, 74 percent of SAP's customers are SMBs, with this proportion expected to go up in the years to come. Having offered only on-premise ERP products till this, Klaey said that he expects this to fill the void in the market for a hosted ERP service that is "end-to-end".

Eric MacDonald, SAP Asia-Pacific and Japan president and CEO of South East Asia, said: "[Business ByDesign] addresses the 'testing out' market--the users who don't have the bandwidth to take on huge IT projects but are interested in trying out a product which gives them improved control."

Klaey did not comment on whether SAP's acquisition of Business Objects would see business intelligence functionality added to the product.

Presently, users' data on the system is hosted in Waldorf, Germany with prices beginning at US$149 per user, per month, for a minimum of 25 users.