• March 6, 2012
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

SAP Expands Hosted Offerings

SAP today announced the SAP Business One OnDemand solution, geared for smaller companies seeking a single offering with deep business functionality, as well as support for sales, purchasing, inventory, and finance business processes.

Initially, the solution is planned for availability in 18 countries, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

As a comprehensive partner-hosted cloud environment targeting smaller companies, SAP Business One OnDemand is intended to complement the SAP BusinessByDesign solution for midmarket customers.

"Small and midsize companies continue to be a relatively untapped market for SaaS/hosted solutions, especially small firms," said Ray Boggs, vice president of analyst firm IDC. Boggs indicated that this will likely change as more than half of small firms plan to add enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and other advanced software while looking at cloud-delivered solutions. "Not everyone will move to the cloud, of course, but interest is clearly growing, even among the smallest firms," he said.

"Small companies with little infrastructure and outsourced IT are expecting cloud offerings, sometimes in easy combination with their existing software," said Eric Duffaut, president of ecosystem and channels at SAP, in a statement. "Together with our partners, SAP is committed to providing customers of all sizes with choice and a solution that fits their needs. Now, small companies can use SAP Business One on premises or in the cloud to run their businesses better."

SAP also today announced several other key updates across its growing portfolio of cloud offerings, including line-of-business application services and its cloud suite, the SAP Business ByDesign solution.

SAP Travel OnDemand is now available in Germany and the United States. Following a successful pilot project, Stulz Air Technology Systems, a manufacturer of cooling technologies, is among the first customers to adopt the solution across its sales and service organization. The company expects to go live within a few weeks.

"The decision to roll out SAP Travel OnDemand was not a difficult one for us," said Thorsten Weiss, chief financial officer of Stulz, in a statement. "Our sales and service people are always on the go. They appreciate the clean, easy-to-use interface and, crucially, the ability to manage and view their expenses via tablet or smartphone will simplify their lives. Native integration to SAP ERP sealed the deal as it will help reduce costs and make the whole process more efficient."

The first 2012 update of SAP Business ByDesign is also now generally available and delivers additional capabilities for large enterprise and focus industries. SAP Business ByDesign clients can now adapt and configure the system without customization, and customers can access the system from anywhere via mobile and Web devices.

New enhancements in the latest release of SAP Business ByDesign include the following:

  • Additional iPad and iPhone support: Sales catalog, account management, lead and opportunity management, as well as time and expense management are now available for mobile users.
  • Enhanced professional service provider capabilities: New features include enhanced billing methods for customer projects, enhanced revenue recognition rules for customer contracts, and advanced earned value analysis for projects and enhanced resource management.
  • More support for distribution and manufacturing businesses: New capabilities, such as third-party logistics, complete delivery, identified stock logistics, and sub-material valuation are now available.
  • Additional partner-provided micro-vertical solutions: Globally, more than 120 partner-provided solutions for SAP Business ByDesign are currently available on SAP Store.
  • Broadened large-enterprise subsidiary integration scenarios: SAP is launching a pilot program for tighter integration of SAP Business ByDesign with corporate HR and analytics of large companies, a growing market segment for the cloud suite.

Released in mid-2011, SAP Sales OnDemand continues on a rapid pace of innovation, with a third release in nine months forthcoming. Features planned for inclusion in the forthcoming wave 3 of SAP Sales OnDemand include the following:

  • Native integration with the SAP Customer Relationship Management(SAP CRM) application, which aims to enable customers to leverage the transactional capabilities of SAP Business Suite software while protecting their current on-premises investmnt.
  • Support for Android mobile OS.
  • New "what-if" scenarios to provide salespeople with laser focus on what actions will help them achieve their quotas faster.
  • Support for Italian and Portuguese languages.

The cloud solution is gaining traction among SAP customers, including proseed, an online marketing and consulting company. proseed recently selected SAP Sales OnDemand.

"Our sales organization has zero time to waste," said Egon Scherer, CEO of proseed. "SAP Sales OnDemand gives us a super fast solution that everyone loves to use. The social collaboration lets us quickly exchange best practices, while the out-of-the-box mobile apps help ensure our salespeople are productive no matter where they are, with no additional costs and no IT headaches. SAP Sales OnDemand is designed for real salespeople and it shows."

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