SAP offers Business Suite via cloud: The slow migration begins

A big motive for SAP's move to offer Business Suite as a subscription service is to take away rivals' cloud-first arguments and offer a viable option to stay with the company.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

SAP on Tuesday said its flagship Business Suite applications will be available via the cloud as a subscription.

The move is part of SAP's effort to transition on-premise customers to the cloud. Rival Oracle already offers its applications as a subscription and SAP competes with cloud players such as NetSuite, Salesforce and Workday to name a few.

Nevertheless, for SAP shops the availability of Business Suite in the cloud is notable. Pricing, or even ranges, weren't available on SAP's site and the company wasn't immediately available for comment.

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One thing is clear: The migration from on-premise to SAP's cloud suite will take time. First, companies aren't likely to quickly ditch their core financial apps until they are done depreciating them. And meanwhile, a company that will transition to the cloud will also check out other options in addition to SAP's cloud Business Suite. SAP's primary motive is to take away rivals' cloud arguments and offer a viable option to stay with the company.

SAP's other bet is that the suite approach always wins---even in the cloud. 

The news builds on SAP's strategy powwow in New York in March.

Technically, SAP's Business Suite subscription is dubbed SAP Business Suite via the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. SAP added that it has added global data centers and migration services that can integrate the company's cloud offerings---SuccessFactors and Ariba---with on-premise deployments.

As for the data center footprint, SAP said it has 16 facilities worldwide and SAP Japan has built facilities in Tokyo and Osaka. The data centers are "in memory-centric".

SAP cited McLaren, Schaidt Innovations and Levi Strauss as companies migrating to Business Suite on demand or in a hybrid model. SAP has argued that customers will be able to consume innovation faster in a cloud model and can pick and choose their deployment models.

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