The writer is Wolfgang Kröner, Director SAP Business ByDesign™, itelligence AG, Bielefeld
In the near past, IT-Technology was defined by IT-driven projects, just like upgrades for the operating systems, server changes with memory enrichments and lots of updates due to several business software solutions.
In these times all IT engineers were glad to have defined projects which they could start, work in and finally close. Most of the time the ongoing support for the user and his efforts were hardly calculated. As a conclusion of this fact it happened that a successful project deliverable turned to a less and less used program and in parallel steadily increasing dissatisfaction among the users.
In these days, there is more and more clearness coming up to a picture that began quite foggy – it’s called Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing refers to the on-demand provision of computational resources (data, software) via a computer network, rather than from a local computer. (Source Wikipedia).
Small, medium and large companies are moving towards software solutions which are offered in a service model (Software-as-a-Service). The mode of operation is convincingly easy, the software can directly be used via a usual internet provider and a common internet browser. The whole software application and its master and dynamic data are handled by a professional IT Service provider, which identifies this as own continuous core business.
Exactly this service is nowadays used by companies transforming themselves from a project driven IT-Technology based department to a management unit focused on the orchestration of the fittable and best software services. Central elements of this management are Service-Level-Agreements (SLAs) on one hand and the flexible license usage on the other hand.
That means, that the deliverables are continuously provided und developed by experts who guarantee the functionalities in time and quality and the licences (subscription) can be steered on a rental base in a de- and increasing business environment.
This flexibility saves the company’s investments and simultaneously enlarges the solution by a having a provider focused on that business.
itelligence jumped on, to a very early time (in 2008), to that topic which is driven by the market now and tomorrow with SAP Business ByDesign (ByD) as a real Business Suite. This suite contains an integrated on-demand solution Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Intelligence (BI).
Customers like Ploetz + Zeller GmbH are successfully working for more than one year with SAP Business ByDesign. Heat 11 Solar GmbH is steadily enlarging the scope because their business is rapidly growing. Companies like ITFLAT® or Expertplace Networks Group improved their sales processes with mobile scenarios based on ByD.
These companies have more time for their core business because they already transformed themselves to the management of the best on demand solutions.
Let me compare a start-up company with building up a house. When you begin with the first brick you’ve got a vision of the building, but after a special time your demands change and you are glad that you chose such a flexible frame, that you are able to handle the change processes easily.
From my point of view companies will start to pick the best services directly out of the cloud that are offered. They will use these services until their demands are changing or enlarging again and they will steadily watch the service market in relation to their next service steps. To support this process, SAP and its partners will offer an SAP STORE for applications from midyear 2011, with a lot of different applications (“bricks”) to build multiple and also flexible solutions.
To gain more details see the following film sequence.