SAP rolls out SAP Business ByDesign

SAP rolled out SAP Business ByDesign, the software formerly known as A1S, Wednesday. The on-demand application targets the midmarket.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

SAP rolled out SAP Business ByDesign, the software formerly known as A1S, Wednesday. The on-demand application targets the midmarket.

SAP CEO Henning Kagermann introduced the product and outlined the software's live products at an event in New York. "It's a new interface for us. We enter a new volume business with an on-demand solution. This is the most important announcement I've made in my career."

Dennis Howlett, Phil Wainewright and Michael Krigsman also have coverage on what Business ByDesign means for enterprise customers. Update: We've aggregated our posts on the SAP launch and Techmeme is starting to round up coverage.

Among the key details from the statement (SAP also has an FAQ):

  • Kagermann said SAP didn't impose any design limitations. "From the beginning we designed it for end to end processes with a user interface people can tailor depending on roles and responsibilities," said Kagermann. "I believe what you see today is something no one else can offer."
  • SAP will charge $149 per month per user with "lower price points for efficiency users." That means companies needing limited access to software will be $54 a month for a set of five users.
  • The application is available in the U.S. and Germany for a few pilot customers. Early customers in China, France and the United Kingdom can now sign up. Among the first 20 live customers in Germany and the United States are STEMME AG, a utility and sports aircraft manufacturer; Judge Consulting Group, a provider of business technology consulting services; MANTZ airmotions GmbH & Co. KG, a manufacturer of air fresheners for homes and vehicles; and Compass Pharma Services LLC. In a release, Compass claimed that it was able to spend less than 25 percent of its original IT budget.
  • The software will be rolled out globally throughout the world, including Australia, India and Spain.

Kagermann noted that Business ByDesign is targeted toward small and mid-sized businesses, notably those that can't afford a complete ERP suite. However, I wonder how this will be enforced in practice. According to SAP's FAQ:

"We expect the typical SAP Business ByDesign customer to have between 100 and 500 employees. There is no maximum user limit; however, a minimum of 25 users must be licensed."

So what happens if you're a 500 employee company with an SAP ERP suite? Will SAP turn you away? The FAQ also notes there's no migration path necessary since comparing Business ByDesign with the company's other applications is apples and oranges. Here's the lineup from SAP and where Business ByDesign fits in:

Business ByDesign is being touted by SAP as the most complete SaaS offering. Included in the software is financials, human resources management, executive management support, project and supply chain management, customer and supplier relationship management, business analytics and compliance management.

The company also noted that Business ByDesign will be SOA-based powered by NetWeaver. Here's the architecture.

Editorial standards