Two Years After Business ByDesign Intro, SAP Still Laboring over Rollout

The enterprise apps king stands by the slow introduction of its first major SaaS product, vowing to roll it out only after issues are resolved.

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Posted on Sep 13, 2009

Two years after the high-profile launch of its first broad-based software-as-a-service enterprise software product, SAP AG has yet to pull the trigger on a general rollout of Business ByDesign and will not do so until sometime next year, company officials say.

Still, SAP officials say the company made the correct decision in May 2008, when it announced it would scale back the BBD rollout in order to fix problems with the service, many of them related to how SAP could reduce the cost of provisioning and upgrading the product.

“It was a good decision,” said Jeff Stiles, SAP’s senior vice president for SME marketing, in an interview with Managing Automation. “It was clear, particularly in this economic environment, that if we had scaled to volume too quickly, it could have negatively impacted our [profit] margins.”

When SAP formally launched Business ByDesign on Sept. 19, 2007, at a flashy New York press event, officials said the company’s goal was for the service to have 10,000 customers and to generate €1 billion in revenue by 2010.

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