What does SAP’s on-demand portfolio and roadmap look like?
Peter Lorenz: The roadmap and portfolio come in three basic dimensions. SAP Business ByDesign is a suite offering, and this is a very big part of the on-demand portfolio. Secondly, we are working on line-of-business (LoB) on-demand offerings such as SAP Sales OnDemand and SAP Sourcing OnDemand, and thirdly we are working on the people-oriented and analytical solutions, which include collaboration software like SAP StreamWork or SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand. Over time you will see that they will blend into one another. For example, collaboration services will be used in SAP Sales OnDemand or SAP Business ByDesign.
It’s important for me that we don’t go for 25 different items in the portfolio. We really need to focus on those areas where we can make a difference. This means going after those areas with the greatest business potential and where we have customers making choices today.
For the SAP Business ByDesign suite approach, we have two goals. We will continue to roll it out to the midmarket as an SME offering, but also as a subsidiary solution for large companies.
With the LoB OnDemand portfolio, which is built on the SAP Business ByDesign platform, we have a couple of things going on. We have SAP Sales OnDemand, which is now generally available in key English and German speaking countries. We are working on introducing SAP Travel OnDemand. And for the area of talent management, we are working on SAP Career OnDemand, which should go out in the first half of next year. This is very important, because it addresses two of the hottest markets, HR and sales. There, we also find our biggest competitors, so we need to push heavily this year to bring our products to market.
We also continue to work on SAP Sourcing OnDemand, an existing product that continues to be pretty successful. And we are working on sustainability, so we have SAP Carbon Impact OnDemand as well that we are already selling to our customers.
On the roadmap moving forward you will see six-month shipment cycles for all these solutions, so we will update these products two times per year.
What has your team learned about developing on-demand products in short cycles?
Peter Lorenz: In the on-demand and cloud markets we are confronted with competition which is continuously innovating and shipping. Small and agile companies – but some larger ones as well – deliver on three- to six-month cycles, and we have to match that. So speed is very important and first successes show that we are on the right track with our cycle of delivering innovation every six months.
Speed aside, we have to continue to focus on sustained innovation that pays off for our customers and adds real value – with low complexity and low TCO.
Speaking of innovation, what can customers expect from SAP Business ByDesign Feature Packs 3.0 and 3.5?
Peter Lorenz: It’s very important that we enable our on-demand offerings so that partners can build on top of the SAP Business ByDesign suite. So what we have done with FP 2.6 the first time and now with FP 3.0, is to roll out a Software Development Kit (SDK) so that they can really build add-ons on top of that platform without making modifications to the platform.
We’ve exceeded 500 customers for SAP Business ByDesign, and we see it really selling. But to get to the next level, we have to continue activating the partner network. Therefore it is so important that we add to the SDK, because with it partners can customize the solution to their customer’s needs.
SAP has implemented the lean methodology in development. How far along are you with lean in the on-demand business?
Peter Lorenz: I don’t think you can just implement lean today and then things magically change. You have to exercise this continuously over years to get better and better.
What lean practices have helped us to do is get back to a more autonomous working style, which is very important. The teams now make the decisions about how they want to do things. There’s a clear time frame and there are clear architecture boundaries, but execution and optimization is a local decision in the teams, and I really believe that this is the key to success in the end.
Peter Lorenz is responsible for all aspects of SAP’s on-demand solutions comprising SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Line of Business OnDemand offerings, including development, solution management, delivery, as well as service and support.