New On-Demand Software – Slated to Appear in 2011

Piecing together new browser software: SAP Sales OnDemand (photo: Christiane Stagge)
Piecing together new browser software: SAP Sales OnDemand (photo: Christiane Stagge)

The delayed launch of enhancement package 5, flexible license models, and the future of SAP NetWeaver Mobile were high on the agenda on the first day of the Annual Congress of DSAG, the German SAP user group. After Karl Liebstückel’s keynote, in which he addressed the issues head on, SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe took to the stage and introduced himself to the audience in impeccable German. Snabe, who comes from Denmark, promised he would hold his whole presentation in German next year – but he said, at the moment, he felt more confident speaking English.

Snabe faced up to DSAG’s criticism with wit and self-deprecation. He admitted it was obvious to him that, in the current climate, no one would be flinging their arms around his neck at a cocktail party – unless they we were worse the wear for drink. Nevertheless, he said he had not given up hope of even sober party guests embracing him warmly again – maybe in a year or so.

It used to take 52 hours to install an enhancement package. Now, it takes 17. As far as quality is concerned, SAP has raised the bar even higher. From SAP CRM and SAP ERP through SAP PLM, around 600 best practices have been integrated into the software. Best practices map processes that have proven themselves in industry, and all these scenarios need to be tested individually – which takes time, Snabe explained.

Browser or app – SAP Sales OnDemand and SAP Sourcing OnDemand

SAP is aiming to have a billion users by 2015 – and collaboration tools as well as mobile software for smartphones will play a part in this. Communication models that work in the consumer sector can also be transferred to the business world successfully. People are away from the office more and more, company structures are becoming less centralized, and employees are spending more time on the road.

In addition to mobile software, collaboration tools such as SAP StreamWork are set to attract new customers. In a similar way to Facebook, members can link up with each other, work together on projects, and send each other documents and other files. For further information read: SAP StreamWork: Facebook for the Office

Like at SAPPHIRE NOW 2010, Snabe spoke about SAP’s product strategy – which is on premise, on device, and on demand. And he also presented a new on-demand solution: SAP Sales OnDemand will be unveiled at the end of 2010 and will officially hit the market next year. The solution can be used as an app on smartphones and supports sales and field sales staff, without wanting to replace the classic SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) application. It will enable employees to hook up with customers or colleagues and work together effectively.

In his keynote, Snabe mentioned other on-demand solutions such as SAP Sourcing OnDemand and SAP Expense Management, which are also slated for availability next year. However, he did not reveal any details about the functions.

Snabe added that – similar to the eco-friendly SAP Carbon Impact 5.0 solution – SAP Business ByDesign 2.5 should seamlessly integrate with SAP Business Suite 7, so that the subsidiaries of major conglomerates can use the software, too.

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Facing the music: Jim Hagemann Snabe talks with DSAG (photo: Christiane Stagge)
Facing the music: Jim Hagemann Snabe talks with DSAG (photo: Christiane Stagge)
SAP forum at the DSAG Annual Congress (photo: Christiane Stagge)
SAP forum at the DSAG Annual Congress (photo: Christiane Stagge)

Enhancement packages bit-by-bit

For on-premises solutions, Snabe promised new enhancements on a constant basis and an implementation time of between six and eight weeks. This will enable customers to enjoy small improvements and innovations immediately. When customers restart the software, the new features will become visible right away, a bit like pressing the refresh button.

Sybase Unwired Platform must understand SAP

SAP NetWeaver Mobile – also presented in: ERP Everywhere – is a platform that many companies use to run their mobile applications. However, maintenance for it runs out in 2014. Customers are therefore worried and are wondering how they can continue operating their mobile software. It looks as though SAP has chosen Sybase Unwired Platform as the successor. But has it?

According to Snabe, the answer to this question varies from customer to customer. It depends how many applications have already been created based on SAP NetWeaver Mobile. That’s why Snabe recommends drawing up an individual road map for each customer, so that a migration can be planned in good time.