As the minutes tick away to the launch of SAP's long-awaited hosted ERP system for the midmarket, hitherto codenamed A1S, my inbox has been filling up with emails from incumbent SaaS vendors, eager to pitch in with their own reactions to what they expect SAP to announce. Trouble is, they don't really know the detail of what SAP is going to unveil, so they're taking stabs in the dark. Several common themes emerge in their comments:
- At long last, SAP has realized SaaS is the future. Welcome to the party.
- But does SAP realize just how much of readjustment it is to adopt SaaS? We doubt it.
- SAP's financial model is built around selling client-server licenses. It won't adjust easily to a subscription model. The sums just won't add up.
- A1S is supposed to target generic midmarket companies, but we're finding that most of our customers have vertical needs that A1S won't cater for.
We'll find out the answers to these and other questions imminently. Yet however dismissive of SAP's new product these other vendors pretend to be, their reaction certainly underlines that this is one of the most important SaaS announcements of the year.