ByDesign Wrap Up

August 18, 2010
By djohnson

The dust has almost settled, but the jury is still out on the launch of SAP’s Business ByDesign. ByDesign is SAP’s software as a service (SaaS) offering that has been in testing and development for the past 3-5 years. The topics of cloud computing and SaaS are still hot in the ERP market, but will adoption follow?

Much has been written on the topic, below we have linked to several insightful articles.

Reports on SAP ByDesign


July 28. Warwick Ashford reports in Computer Weekly “SAP too slow to cloud, say users” that 73% believe that SAP was too slow getting the product to market. The article does include quotes from SAP folks explaining reasons for the timing and provides evidence that maybe the hype was ahead of adoption. Key issues such as data protection, lack of control, lack of customization, compliance, and risks of outages are still causing some to wait.

August 3. Ann All reports in IT Business Edge “Was SAP Too Slow on SaaS? Maybe, Maybe Not” that SaaS is still accounts for a relatively small percentage of ERP deployments. The article also defends SAP’s timeline as normal for ‘traditional’ software-development standards. In the new SaaS world, maybe old timelines are no longer applicable? The article also addresses the issue of whether SaaS ERP should be a point application or become a sophisticated replacement for existing on-premise solutions.

Pricing and VAR Impact

August 2. Dennis Howlett recaps the pricing and offerings in ZDNet “SAP Business ByDesign 2.5 arrives: what now?” and discusses the critical issue of distribution and how value added resellers (VARs) will participate in SaaS offerings. This issue is further developed in his August 10 article “Is the cloud a VAR killer” where he takes a deeper dive at the fixed-price implementation issue.

User Counts, More News

August 2. Rick Whiting discusses customer rollout issues in CRN “SAP Furthers SaaS Push with New Business ByDesign Release.” The article also points out that version 2.5 is a feature pack which will kick off more widespread public availability. The initial version launched in 2007 only acquired 70 active customers.

August 3. The critics add their opinions in ZDNet “NetSuite slams SAP Business ByDesign.” In this blog post, Dennis Howlett moderates comments from both sides.

Let the Voting Begin

The market will determine the future of SaaS as well as the future of ByDesign. The polls are now open for enterprises, mid-market businesses, and small businesses. Results (a.k.a. adoption rates) are likely to vary by customer sizes and industries. Small marketing and consulting firms may come out for SaaS while large manufacturers may cling to on-premise. Keep in mind the ERP market has several “candidates” running for office. Some are strict SaaS, some have stayed with the client-server incumbent, SAP has two candidates, and other have candidates with both SaaS and on-premise capabilities.

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