A1S is “SAP Business ByDesign”

Today SAP officially announced it’s new on-demand Enterprise Software for small and mid-sized businesses called “Business ByDesign” (BBD), which was formerly known as “A1S”, in a press-conference in New York.

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CEO Henning Kagermann called it “the most important announcement” of his career and described BBD as “breakthrough innovation”. In fact, the SaaS-market is completely new for SAP but probably very important for it’s future, and BBD is perhaps the most important product for SAP since R/3, which made the German software-vendor to the market-leader in business software in the 90’s. And the way BBD was designed and built is truly innovative. It is completely service-based (“SOA by design”, also the UI is based on services in contrast to ERP where the services are delivered additionally to the transactions), and it was built with the latest model-based development tools from SAP (Composition Environment).

An often heard (see also Nicholas Carr’s post) question/thought is whether BBD could threaten SAP’s own business. Larger companies running SAP’s rather expensive ERP or Business Suite could also think of using a cheap and easy to implement on-demand software, what by the way would also challenge a whole industry of consultants implementing and adapting SAP software for customers. But those larger businesses will probably always have the need for a wider adaption of their enterprise software than possible with BBD, and for SAP it’s still better to loose customers to themselves than to loose them to competitors…

The replay of the press-conference can be found here.

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