Blogs on SAP’s Business ByDesign

My plan was to report in depth on SAP’s Business ByDesign product, however I decided to rather point you to a number of well crafted blogs summarizing the launch.

  • My friend Tom Otter provides an insider’s view.
  • Bob Warfield writes a great blogs on all things SaaS, and Web 2.0. His BbD summary is very good.
  • Jeff Nolan over at Venture Chronicles is always insightful. Another good summary.
  • Joshua Greenbaum is another good read.

and for fun check out these:

SAP’s official magazine SAP INFO is also interesting reading. SDN may have some interesting information soon. Not too much at the moment. I still have many open questions:

  1. How (if at all) will SAP partner regarding BBD? ADP is listed as the only partner.
  2. Will SAP release an SDK for BBD?
  3. Will BBD be the end of SAP’s All-in-one and Business One?

Update – Sept 26, 2007: Interesting read on Infoworld.Update – Nov 7, 2007: Kagermann says SAP BBD is not for enterprise customers.Do you have answers?

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SAP’s A1S launced today and is called: SAP Business ByDesign

SAP Business ByDesignSAP officially launched A1S today and it’s called: SAP Business ByDesign. It will cost $149 per user per month. A quick initial review of SAP BBD looks a lot like current self service scenarios and webdynpro transactions. I will do a more detailed review soon.

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SAP, Oracle and Workday HCM product strategy updates

Bill Kutik’s recent HRMS Happenings article is a very good overview of what’s coming from the prominent HCM vendors. The following highlights caught my attention:

  • Oracle will continue to develop Peoplesoft, Oracle HCM and Fusion HCM as separate product lines.
  • Workday is busy developing a payroll engine.
  • All the vendors have interesting Web 2.0 plans.
  • SAP is partnering with companies like Aspire HR for functionality.
  • HR Tech 2007 in October is going to be an interesting event.

What are your thoughts regarding the new functionality coming from these vendors?

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SAP’s on demand/SaaS ERP solution, codenamed A1S

My aim with this post is to summarize the information currently available on A1S. A1S has been in the works for at least 3 years and is SAP’s on demand or SaaS (Software as a service) ERP solution. According to ZDNet A1S is targeted to launch in 2008 and is part of SAP’s strategy to grow its customer base from 39,000 to 100,000 customers by 2010. SAP is planning to unveil A1S at an event in New York on Sept 19. A1S is designed for the mid-market and initially it will be hosted by SAP as an on demand solution. Later it will be available as an appliance that can be plugged in behind the firewall.Henning Kagermann’s (CEO of SAP AG) recent presentations provide more A1S hints. Here is SAP’s 2007 Q2 analyst presentation and also the May 2007 Sanford Bernstein presentation. On page 26 Kagermann summarizes the salient features of A1S:

  • A New Product: Broad cross-industry coverage, enterprise SOA by design, model-based design, configuration via business questions, and self-service & embedded training.
  • A New Business Model: Try-Run-Adapt, on demand, embedded services & remote management, order of magnitude lower TCO, and quality/robustness is key.

In this blog post searchSAP talks about SAP’s mid-market push including A1S. Here Venderprisey summarizes some SaaS blog postings including an interesting reference to A1S. The Register and others suggest that SAP picked the Sept date to overlap with the Salesforce Dreamforce conference.Hasso Plattner’s “new idea” presentation is basically the technical underpinnings of A1S. You can see the keynote here, however you’ll have to register first. SAP calls A1S, Enterprise SOA by Design vs SAP ERP it calls Enterprise SOA by Evolution. Here is a list of the new idea aspects of Plattner’s “New Idea”: in-memory databases, real-time analytics, harmonized UI, cloud computing, on-demand, events & triggers, modular deployment, model-based configuration, no code exposed, new markets, community, standards and finally SOA.Competitors include: and its AppExchange marketplace for on demand applications, Oracle on demand, and Workday, co-founded by Mr. Peoplesoft himself, Dave Duffield, is also an interesting play. They market Workday as: On-Demand Enterprise Business Services.Also see my post regarding integration between SaaS solutions and SAP.I’m sure we’ll know more after September 19.

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Integration with SAP

Well, even with NetWeaver and XI it seems that it is still not easy to integrate 3rd party systems with SAP. I did some research and found the following interesting products. The first one that seems very interesting (based on their website, I’m signed up for a demo next week) is the an Integration Appliance for SAP by Cast Iron. A friend of mine indicated that his company is considering Cast Iron as a way to integrate their system with SAP. Here is an interesting blog entry on Cast Iron and the following wikipedia entry lists more integration appliances. This is an example of Cast Iron’s mapping editor.

Cast Iron Editor

The appliance allows full environment management, i.e., you can set up a dev, test and production environment. Cast Iron has three appliances for SAP, an entry level model for one application integration, a flag ship model for enterprise level application integration and also a high availability (HA) appliance.WinShuttle is another popular way to upload and download information from SAP. This product seems less flashy than Cast Iron’s appliance, however it seems to deliver the goods for many customers.Gregor Hohpe wrote a book on patterns and best practices for enterprise integration, called, Enterprise Integration Patterns. Gregor’s web site also contains a lot of useful information regarding enterprise integration.I look forward to hearing back from my SAP friends regarding their integration experiences.

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Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture (ESOA) for the rest of us

Venderprisey linked to an excellent presentation on ESOA. I post it here for your convenience. It’s also an example of an excellent presentation.Do you agree?

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