SAP moves Business One to the cloud

March 9th, 2012 | by Aaron Tan
SAP moves Business One to the cloud
Enterprise
0

 

SAP beefed up its cloud applications portfolio this week with the global launch of SAP Business One OnDemand. The announcement follows its earlier acquisition of SuccessFactors, a cloud-based software for managing employee performance.

In a media statement Tuesday, the German software giant said BusinessOne OnDemand is planned for availability in 18 countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

SAP intends to provide Business One OnDemand through partners that will offer the cloud-based software for a monthly subscription fee. It’s odd that SAP is only announcing Business One OnDemand now, as the software has been available through SingTel’s PowerON cloud service since August 2011.

BusinessOne OnDemand is targeted at companies that are looking for cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) software without investing in IT staff to maintain the underlying infrastructure. According to SAP and SingTel, companies can expect to save up to 60 percent on their operating costs and reduce set-up time from months to days.

Unlike Business ByDesign, which marked SAP’s foray into the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market, BusinessOne OnDemand is “viewed as the most affordable and recommended for small businesses whether these companies are seeking an on-premise or on-demand solution”, said industry analyst Cindy Jutras in a recent blog post.

“Business ByDesign, which is offered exclusively as a SaaS offering, is positioned as the best solution for mid-size companies looking for SaaS ERP,” she said.

But what exactly differentiates Business ByDesign from Business One OnDemand is less clear. Sure, Business One has its on-premise roots, giving IT departments the flexibility to run the software in-house if they choose to, though it’s unlikely a small company would try to do this.

And, if Business ByDesign was meant to be a mid-market offering aimed at companies with more resources to manage their own software, it’s SaaS-only DNA would deny any possibility of deploying the software on-premise.

Oracle’s on-demand portfolio, too, is filled with a hotchpotch of products. It recently acquired SuccessFactors rival Taleo to strengthen its HR software offerings that include Oracle HRM, RightNow and Fusion Global Core HCM.

Cloud computing is supposed to reduce the cost and complexities of IT. In their rush to the cloud, enterprise software vendors are not making things simple with a slew of overlapping products that often leave companies confused. How about streamlining things for a start?

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