Johannesburg — SAP Africa has identified and is pursuing key vertical industries that are the most likely to gain substantial benefits from its Subscription-based Hosting service.
This rental model is a notable departure from SAP’s traditional on-premise, owned infrastructure and software model and enables smaller organisations to gain all the benefits of SAP Business All-in-One, at significantly lower cost.
“Affordability is a key consideration for companies that see the value in SAP solutions, but who cannot carry the on-going cost of running and maintaining such systems,” explains Adnan Theba, ISE – Public Sector, Financial Services, East and Western Cape, KZN at SAP Africa. “The Subscription-based Hosting option removes the need to employ full-time SAP consultants, while licence fees and costs related to updates, upgrades and support are covered by the rental fee.
“The other big advantage is that implementation is far quicker, and even more so when industry-specific templates are applied that address these industries’ unique business processes.”
The rental-nature of the contract – available for periods of two, three and four years – also has cash flow implications due to the tax benefits as the investment is viewed as an operating expense, not capital expenditure. “Customers also now have more predictable spend, which is a major boon for projections and budgeting purposes,” adds Theba.
He says initial focus has been placed on industries such as fishing, wine and fruit farming, and those requiring any blending and batch processing. This targeting is based both on demand and the existence of proven industry templates.
“Production and quality control are key concerns for these industries, which are issues that are more than adequately addressed through these pre-customised templates,” he adds. “A wine maker, for example, would be able to tell for the first time which section of his farm a specific bottle originates from. That is very powerful.”
SAP BusinessObjects, which allows business managers to interrogate their SAP and other databases with total flexibility and visibility, is an added service that is being promoted to hand even more control to users. This further eliminates the need for users to employ SAP consultants to produce key reports and analytics.
Theba says a prevailing reluctance to hosted services due to the limitations of existing data infrastructure, reliability, speed and cost has been addressed by contracting a dedicated, SAP-certified hosting provider.
“SCT Services has more than nine years’ experience in SAP Business All-in-One, so is perfectly suited to hosting the service for us,” he explains. “They manage the entire process, from assessing a client’s needs, to suggesting applicable industry-specific templates, rolling out, training and implementing a change management programme.”
These processes can be completed in a matter of weeks due to the lack of customisation and installation onto on-premise infrastructure, while an accelerated change management process has also been devised to improve time to going live.
“We have high expectations of the Subscription-based Hosting as it suddenly opens the door to companies that have been hampered by either size or cash-flow constraints, but that value the benefits that SAP Business All-in-One brings,” says Theba.
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 97 000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP”. For more information, visit http://www.sap.com.
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, and related applications.
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