Drifting snow, below-zero temperatures, irritated drivers – winter was back with a vengeance, making it difficult for some to make the steep climb to the Fortress Marienberg. However, the taxi drivers were not the only ones struggling to make headway: The scheduled presenters from Walldorf were stuck in traffic and reported a possible delay in their arrival. In the end, Peter Lorenz – executive vice president of the SME solutions SAP Business All-in-One, SAP Business One, and SAP Business ByDesign – made it on time to present the 2011 road map for SAP Business ByDesign to the attendees of the IBIS Conference in Würzburg.
SAP’s director of SME solutions made an optimistic impression, saying that while it had gotten off to a slow start, SAP Business ByDesign had already achieved considerable success. He cited around 100 reference customers among the many small businesses and midsize companies that have already replaced their legacy systems with the on-demand solution. By 2011, SAP wants to serve both the SME market and industrial sector with SAP Business ByDesign.
CeBIT Highlight: Feature Pack 2.5
Last year, Feature Pack 2.0 enhanced SAP Business ByDesign with Web services such as Map24 and GoYellow. Just in time for CeBIT, SAP followed up with Feature Pack 2.5, which introduces a new user interface and runs on Web browsers based on the rich Internet architecture (RIA) Microsoft Silverlight. This browser plug-in facilitates the integration of further services, including Groupeware, Microsoft Office, and IBM Lotus Sametime. The RIA, meanwhile, does not depend on a particular back end.
In addition, Feature Pack 2.5 enables SAP Business ByDesign to store all data in the main system memory, which can comprise up to 1TB in Intel-based systems.
SAP Business ByDesign for iPhone
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, SAP Business One, and SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) 7.0 led the way; now it’s SAP Business ByDesign’s turn to go mobile. SAP’s on-demand solution is coming to iPhone, BlackBerry, and other devices, giving employees the power to manage tasks and create new requests as if they were at the office. As a special added twist, giving the iPhone a firm shake updates the task list.
However, mobile devices are not the only platform on which SAP Business ByDesign has been upgraded. To help users work more efficiently on large screens, they can now arrange input fields on top of or next to each other as they see fit.
Apps for SAP Business Suite
SAP already offers a number of on-demand applications in fields ranging from carbon impact and human resources to business intelligence and customer relationship management. As Peter Lorenz points out, SAP plans to expand its portfolio of applications users can purchase or rent – much like iPhone apps – for use with SAP Business Suite.
SAP also wants to bolster its collaboration with partners. The SAP marketplace now gives partners the chance to offer their own configured solutions and potential customers to post their tenders. In addition, SAP plans to provide its partners with a service developer kit (SDK) as a basis for developing their own business solutions, reports, and enhancements. Meanwhile, SAP’s master source code will remain untouched, and the partners’ source code will also run through the company.
Strict security standards
In his keynote speech, Peter Lorenz dismissed rumors that SAP intends to outsource the hosting of SAP Business ByDesign, saying that the software will continue to run on the company’s own servers in Walldorf. SAS70 Part II certification is just one attestation of how safe customer data is at SAP: For three months, external auditors and IT experts checked the company’s logs and protocols for compliance with stringent security standards. These tests will be carried out every six months to ensure SAP customers’ continued trust in the security and functionality of their software.