Three years ago, when enterprise applications provider SAP launched its Business ByDesign software-as-a-service (SaaS) ERP product, the company boldly predicted rapid customer adoption. Targeting small businesses with its first SaaS offering, SAP officials forecast 10,000 users and €1 billion in Business ByDesign revenue by 2010.
Today, a chastened SAP is far less bold — at least publicly — about stating its market expectations for Business ByDesign. After having been forced in May 2008 to slow the Business ByDesign rollout in order to fix provisioning and performance problems, SAP recently announced general availability of a reworked Business ByDesign that now features in-memory analytics, support for mobile devices, a new user interface based on Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, and multi-tenant architecture. The new feature pack 2.5 release of Business ByDesign, now generally available in six countries, also includes three functional starter packs designed to make deployment easier and more predictable for customers and resellers.
“Business ByDesign is now a rock-solid solution that is ready to scale,” said Jeff Stiles, senior vice president of SME marketing at SAP.
But, although the SaaS ERP product has returned to general availability, SAP is no longer willing to predict adoption or revenue growth rates. And the company is more realistic about the work that still needs to be done, including development of a SaaS-capable reseller channel, the addition of process manufacturing and other industry-specific functionality, and the completion of a software development kit (SDK) that will allow third parties to create extensions to Business ByDesign.