On-demand ERP technology receives final tweaks before wider availability
SAP has put the finishing touches to its software-as-a-service ERP system, Business ByDesign, before making it more widely available this summer.
Until now, Business ByDesign has only been available on a limited basis to 100 customers globally, with a wider launch suffering a number of delays.
Business ByDesign will now be made available to all customers in China, France, Germany, India, the UK and US in July.
Speaking at SAP's Sapphire Now user conference - being held simultaneously in Frankfurt and Orlando this week - co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe said making the product more widely available has taken time due to the company's work on its infrastructure.
"Why didn't we go to the volume [sooner]? Because we wanted to perfect the infrastructure - you only get one chance to really do the infrastructure well."
Ahead of the July launch, SAP has announced a raft of new features at Sapphire Now. The technology now includes in-memory analytics, which will allow users to analyse their business data faster. Support for mobile devices has also been added, including a number of pre-defined user scenarios to cover different job functions.
The user interface also features easier customisation and better integration with Microsoft Office thanks to the use of the Silverlight web development platform, SAP said.
Starter packages have also been introduced meaning customers can start using certain elements of the ERP system, such as CRM, without committing to the whole product suite. They can then decide to add more functionality and applications to the package should they choose.
Business ByDesign customers will also be able to choose between a single tenancy or multi-tenancy support model.
SAP has also announced a development environment in which third party resellers can add additional features and services to provide more industry-specific additions to Business ByDesign.
Snabe said the number of new customers signing up to Business ByDesign will be the key measure of its success rather than the percentage of revenue it generates compared to SAP's on-premises offerings, due to a difference in charging model between the two. However, he refused to put a figure on the number of customers the company is looking for for Business ByDesign.
Both CEOs also made it clear that the greater availability of Business ByDesign won't mean SAP neglects its on-premise technology. Co-CEO Bill McDermott told Sapphire Now: "We fundamentally believe in the hybrid approach where we need to be able to both deliver solutions both on-premise, on-demand and on-device and need to keep consistency between all of them."