SAP "not pulling the plug" on Business ByDesign

Rumoured death of on-demand ERP tech: Greatly exaggerated

Rumoured death of on-demand ERP tech: Greatly exaggerated

The development of SAP's Business ByDesign on-demand ERP software is on track and remains a significant part of its long term strategy, according to the company.

SAP appeared to have put the software-as-a-service technology on the backburner after extending its roll out targets, cutting investment in the tech by €100m in 2008 and saying there was no further "accelerated" investment planned for this year.

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But vice president of SME market development for SAP Business ByDesign, Mark Oakey, said the rumours of its demise have been greatly exaggerated.

"We're not pulling the plug on ByDesign as was suggested because it's a strategic piece of the portfolio and we're fully committed to it. Any rumours that say we're stopping it are just wrong," he told

Of the reduced investment, Oakey said: "Not much has really changed in terms of our approach. We continue to push out releases. I think from a progress standpoint internally, we're pleased with the way things are going."

Oakey added that SAP is continuing a measured rollout of Business ByDesign with around 80 customers in China, France, Germany, India, the UK and the US now using it.

He explained the company is taking this approach to make sure the final version of the product fulfils the needs of the small and medium-sized businesses that it's aimed at by responding to feedback from early customers.

"With us it's more important that we establish a viable long term overall business model… to make sure that we can be sustainable. We're committed to this for the longer term and we need to make sure we do the right things in the short term and medium term to get there," he said.

Oakey added that the Business ByDesign Feature Pack 2, which is due later this year, should provide a significant step up in functionality.

"The functionality that we've got, or technology base, is something that we're going to continue with… and as we need to make changes to that technology base, we'll go ahead and do that but I think it's a pretty sound foundation that we have in place today," he said.