SAP Business ByDesign is the result of four years of development. During that time, SAP has been studying how people at midsize companies work. “SAP has done a tremendous job of translating our business requirements into an easy-to-digest business flow … It’s clear that SAP really took the time to understand how smaller businesses think and operate,” said Kevin Flanagan, CEO of Compass Pharma. He and three other customers were on stage with Hans Peter Klaey, head of the SME line of business, at the announcement event to talk about their experiences.
These early customers are part of a new target market for SAP – 1.2 million businesses, with between 100 and 500 employees that traditionally have not purchased complete, integrated business applications. SAP Business ByDesign complements SAP’s current portfolio for small businesses and midsize companies and is not intended for large enterprise customers or divisions or subsidiaries of larger companies.

Leasing instead of buying

Unlike SAP’s other offerings, the new product will be available on demand. Customers lease the product instead of buying it, and the software runs at an SAP datacenter, which reduces the need for on-site IT resources and costs related to hardware, maintenance, and upgrades. But SAP Business ByDesign is more than “yet another” on-demand ERP or CRM solution for midsize companies. SAP Business ByDesign is the most complete, fully integrated on-demand solution available on the market. “Today, we enter a new volume business with an on-demand solution. We will set a new standard, and we intend to change the on-demand marketplace,” said SAP CEO Henning Kagermann.
Designed to be an affordable option for midsize companies, SAP Business ByDesign is priced at just U.S. $149 per month per user, with a minimum of 25 licensed users. That includes software, services, and support. A U.S. $54 per month option is also available for a bundle of five “efficiency users.”

Some customers are already productive

SAP Business ByDesign will be launched in a phased approach. It is currently available to a limited number of customers and partners in the United States and Germany; with France, the United Kingdom, and China to roll out in Q4/2007. Through a collaborative effort between Sales, the SME Customer Service Engagement team, Global Service & Support (GSS), and Development teams, customer projects have resulted in 20 customers live with the solution the day of the announcement.
As a result of this new sales model, “SAP also requires a completely different go-to-market model with a customer experience that is easy to try, easy to buy, easy to operate, and easy to use,” said Léo Apotheker, Deputy CEO of SAP. To make “easy” possible, SAP created the most technologically advanced business software solution ever, and hid the complexity from view.

Ready for action

In his keynote speech, Board member Peter Zencke took a look under the hood and described how the “revolutionary product from SAP” brings the technical advantages of enterprise service-oriented architecture by design to the level of business processes. During Zencke’s keynote, demo king Ian Kimbell demonstrated how easy it is to use SAP Business ByDesign. He also showed how customers would set up a trial system that is configured to their needs – a real first step to a production system. “This is more than just access to the demo system,” added Zencke. “This is getting access to a system that is configurable and ready to run.” Once up and running, customers can easily adapt to changing business requirements at any time, whether they’re streamlining operations, adjusting to market requirements, or responding to new opportunities.
Business configuration is only one of the innovations that helps keep SAP Business ByDesign up and running. The new service and support model also sets a standard. With the close cooperation of the GSS team, built-in services and support and a new quality-assured service model were created for SAP Business ByDesign. It simplifies IT and provides access to knowledge – and help – whenever the user needs it.
Kagermann summed it up perfectly: “I believe what you see today is something no one else can offer. It is a future-proof platform.”

Author: Jennifer Lankheim, SAP