SAP on Monday kicked off its Sapphire conference in Orlando with the new release of Business ByDesign, its software as a service ERP suite.
Before SAP bought Sybase, Business ByDesign was expected to be the center of attention at Sapphire. As Dennis Howlett noted in his Sapphire preview, now Business ByDesign is more of a lunchtime conversation piece instead of the main attraction.
With the latest release (statement), SAP said it is "re-iterating its commitment" to SaaS. The upcoming release will support business intelligence, analytics and in-memory technology. SAP also said it is providing a better user interface with more customized reports and mobile support.
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Business ByDesign is available to midsized "charter clients" in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, China and India. SAP plans more markets in early 2011. So far, SAP has more than 100 charter clients and the company said it is "committed to increasing its customer base."
The big question at Sapphire is when SAP's Business ByDesign will become more of a general availability story.
Among the key features of this Business ByDesign release:
- In-memory analytics and bi-directional Microsoft Excel integration.
- Mobile device support.
- A user interface that incorporates Microsoft's Silverlight technology on the desktop. Silverlight also makes a tighter connection to Office.
- SAP is planning a development environment for partners to deliver services.
- Single and multi-tenancy support.
We'll explore these features and the prognosis for Business ByDesign as Sapphire gets rolling.