At long last SAP has unveiled its cloud strategy. It announced cloud solutions for four lines of business to manage people, money, customers and suppliers. These are planned to be offered in a consistent way and seamlessly integrated into enterprise resource planning (ERP) business software.
The Cloud announcements follow the acquisition of SuccessFactors, a fast growing Cloud provider in February 2012. Its founder and CEO Lars Dalgaard will be leading SAP’s charge into the Cloud.
SuccessFactors built its reputation in the human capital management (HCM) space, while SAP of course has 40 years experience in the business software market. SAP is pinning its hopes on Dalgaard, whom they have placed at the helm of the combined Cloud business unit. With 5,000 people dedicated to designing, building and delivering cloud solutions SAP hopes to come out on top.
The newly formed Cloud business unit, will be focused on four solution areas aimed at helping customers manage their most business-critical assets and relationships.
SAP plans to deliver its multitenant cloud solutions as a loosely-coupled suite of best-of-breed applications. In a statement that sounded rather Infor’esque, SAP plans to offer customers the choice and flexibility to adopt these applications at their own pace, as their business needs evolve.
The cloud portfolio will focus on four areas, namely, people, money, customers and suppliers.
For the “People” bit, SAP announced the addition of its global payroll software as a cloud-based offering integrated with SuccessFactors’ core human resources (HR) solution, Employee Central. The solution is planned to be available in 10 countries. For the “Money” initiative SAP announced the planned availability of the SAP Financials OnDemand solution, targeted for large enterprise customers to manage their core financials as well as order-to-cash and invoice-to-pay processes. It is planned that this is integrated with SuccessFactors’ core HR solution Employee Central. In addition, SAP intends to deliver a new release of the SAP Travel OnDemand solution with additional integration and mobile capabilities, including the ability to capture and process expenses directly from a mobile device.
SAP Sales OnDemand delas with “Customers”. In a thinly veiled dig at one notable vendor, SAP says its offering goes beyond the “outdated capabilities” of existing cloud-based “sales force automation” tools by delivering new marketing and social selling capabilities, new configurability and customization tools, and new integration to on-premise SAP Business Suite software, including the SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) application.
Finally, for “Suppliers”, SAP intends to invest in the SAP Sourcing OnDemand solution for strategic sourcing, supplier and contract lifecycle management integrated on premise with SAP Business Suite, as well as its business networks solutions, including the SAP Information Interchange OnDemand solution, for networked-based invoice management and information exchange for the procure-to-pay process.
SAP says it will continue to offer fully integrated suites in the cloud, with SAP Business ByDesign for mid-market customers via its reseller channels and for subsidiaries of large enterprise customers, as well as the SAP Business One OnDemand solution served by certified SAP partners for smaller customers.
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