SAP to halt development of Business ByDesign: report

The company's mid-market business software suite will be wound down but not shut down, according to a German magazine.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor
SAP chairman Hasso Plattner and development head Vishal Sikka speaking at the company's Sapphire Now conference in May 2013. (Photo: SAP)

The business management software company SAP plans to wind down and eventually "discontinue" development of its Business ByDesign software suite, according to a new report from the German weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

The reduced support comes as a result of the suite's failure to meet the lofty business goals that were set for it when it was launched in 2010. "Only a small team in India will take care of the maintenance of the software," Wirtschaftswoche's Michael Kroker writes.

ByDesign is intended to serve "mid-market" companies that are smaller than large enterprises but larger than small- and medium-sized businesses. At launch, executives projected that the $4 billion software suite would generate $1 billion in annual revenue. Yet it is expected to generate no more than $35 million this year, according to Wirtschaftswoche.

Existing customers will be able to continue to use the software, according to the report. It will not be shut down and will remain a part of the company's portfolio.

Business ByDesign was intended to be SAP's cloud computing-based answer to NetSuite, the as-a-service software company founded by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. It sought to diversify the company's customer base beyond large enterprises.

But the software was beset with technical issues and delays. "I've always truly disliked the Business by Design products because I thought they were poorly designed and kludgy and functionally illiterate," CRM expert Paul Greenberg wrote in this very publication in May 2012.

UPDATE (20 October 2013, 9:55 a.m. ET): SAP spokesman Jim Dever told ZDNet that "Business ByDesign will become part of the SAP HANA Cloud" as part of the company's effort to move all of its cloud offerings to the HANA platform. "SAP HANA will be the single, unified platform," he said. "[Business ByDesign] will continue to be supported and actively promoted in its current functionality and scope through our extensive partner ecosystem."

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