In the network of SAP: The middle class software "Business by Design" aims to ensure sales. Source: AP
DÜSSELDORF. It was a difficult birth: Over two years passed before SAP has at his new middle Software "Business by Design (BBD) get all the problems under control. Now, you are almost ready in a few months, all customers can use the so-called Cloud software.
BBD represents a new generation of software. Everything is highly standardized, programs do not have to be installed on a company computer, but they are in a data center SAPService provider. Views will be served and the ERP program on the Internet through a browser. The leased software, from the hopes that the group has long been a breakthrough in business with the SME customers want in the new version 2.5 will be available in the second half of the year.
"There is currently no comparable ERP offering on the market," says Clemens Dietl, head of consulting and system integrator Max IT. The Munich-based company is among the 100 selected customers with whom SAP its new product in the past twelve months has been tested and optimized so that it can be used without much previous knowledge.
"Our ERP software was getting on in years. We have sought an integrated solution which is sustainable," said Dietl. Therefore we have chosen the Cloud software. After three and a half months she was ready.
"Business by Design" has been retreaded in the past year almost. Originally sought SAP Start with the program already in 2008. But nothing came of it: The original version was too complex and had fundamental weaknesses. Would lack a scalable, able to react flexibly to the customers on market changes. In addition, the operating costs were too high, so for SAP the margin was too low.
It seems that the software company has solved the problems. To crop the highly standardized software to the individual needs of customers, develop SAPPartner-specific industry solutions. First prototypes will be on display for the first time in May on the "Sapphire", the Open House of the software group in Frankfurt.
Small catch: There is still demand for leased software in Germany low. However, Gartner analyst Christian Hestermann is certain that such an offer for smaller companies will continue to play a greater role. "For the classic medium of leased software is an interesting alternative," he says. Even from the perspective of data security could be worth a switch. Compared with large enterprises, it is expensive for small businesses to protect their own IT extensively, says the analyst.
"If the software is running, it is SAP quite succeed, to win customers for it, "market researcher also believes RAAD Cristian Wieland. The Cloud offer was so attractive to many companies because they can thus reduce their fixed IT costs.
The cost argument has been the other ERP vendors discovered for themselves. Although you have not developed new software, but a new pricing model: the cost of license and maintenance, they have passed on a monthly amount.
The ERP market for the German Mittelstand is heterogeneous, with some 150 vendors very much. Many small IT companies to develop specific industry solutions to few customers. The trump card of the companies is their customer focus and flexibility. Developers can integrate needs and ideas into the programs.
The most widely used provider in Germany next SAP – are viewed across all sectors – Microsoft, Oracle, Sage, Comarch (formerly SoftM) and Infor Global Solutions. The latter have been created in recent years by more than 20 acquisitions such as Baan and Brain stock a wide clientele.
are reliable sales figures for the chaotic market, it is not – but estimates of analysts: "Sales of ERP solutions in SMEs will stagnate this year on last year’s level," Raad estimates market researcher Wieland. Surveys of Münster company at companies with 100 to 2 000 employees show that is mainly invested in the optimization of processes, but not in new projects. That will change at the earliest next year – provided the economy continues to recover, "says Wieland.
Most midsize companies with more than 100 people have now, although ERP software in use. "Many, however, use older programs that need to be replaced urgently. There is still much potential for operators," says Wieland. In particular, smaller companies have in the past bought up by and by individual software solutions for corporate management: programs for financial accounting, payroll, production planning and control (PPC) or logistics.
"Many SMEs operate a veritable zoo of applications," says Gartner analyst Hestermann. Here, there is urgent need for consolidation, because the operation of the various programs had become too expensive. "Are in demand solutions that offer much as possible in one package," says Hester man.
In particular, vendors such as SAP, Microsoft, Comarch, Infor, Abas, or Proalpha offer such integrated applications. "They are increasingly replacing outdated and poorly integrated solutions from the market," says Frank Niemann, an analyst at Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC).
Technological differences are often identify only in detail. Programs are so well standardized so that they can be sold to various industries. Partner companies not only take over the distribution, they also possess the necessary process knowledge with which they can develop solutions tailored to the particular industry. "This so-called channel partner for providers as important as the product itself," says the PAC-Analyst.