SAP goes SaaS with Business ByDesign

German applications giant SAP has revealed some details of its long awaited on-demand application suite, Business ByDesign (formerly known by its working title AS1).

The product, which is aimed at mid-sized organisations of between 150 and 500 employees, comprises a suite of business application functionality that has been specifically built from scratch. It includes customer relationship management, supply chain management, financials and compliance management functions within the same process-oriented environment.

The user-interface is role-based, as is the vogue, and the customisable user interface is decoupled from the underlying applications. Users can connect to communities of peers directly through the software.

It is built upon SAP’s own NetWeaver service-oriented technology platform, and its own database software MaxDB.

The product is priced at $149 per user per month for a minimum of 25 users, although there is to be a cut down version for groups of five users or less, priced at $54 dollars per user per month.

SAP said that Business ByDesign will be first available in the US and Germany, followed by the UK, France and China, although precise timing was not revealed.

SAP CEO Henning Kagermann told German newspaper Die Welt that he expects Business ByDesign to add 1 billion to its annual revenues, which in 2006 totalled 9 billion. The company has pledged to invest between $300 million and $400 million in developing the product before the end of 2008.

He said the announcement was ‘the most important of my career’, but some analysts were disappointed by the lack of clear product details and release roadmap.

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Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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