SAP plans hosted business application suite

SAP’s planned suite of hosted mid-market applications will be available in selected markets later this year.

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SAP’s planned suite of hosted mid-market applications will be available in selected markets later this year.

The company will offer more details on pricing and functionality after the Cebit trade show in March, SAP chief executive Henning Kagermann said.

The new hosted product, known internally as A1S, will target mid-market users seeking an inexpensive, easy to deploy, low-risk suite of business applications including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM).

The on-demand product will be available on a monthly subscription, giving smaller, cost-sensitive companies the flexibility to test the service and drop it if they do not like it.

The new offering comes as SAP moves to capture a larger share of the huge but cost-sensitive segment for mid-market companies that are showing interest in hosted business applications such as those offered by Salesforce.com.

Kagermann said A1S was an "entirely new product" that will not be a hosted version of the company's All-in-One product. All-in-One is a slimmed down version of mySAP Business Suite, which is designed for large enterprises.

The hosted offering will be a highly pre-configured, off the shelf product that gives companies a range of applications with limited flexibility to tweak their functionality, he said.

"To drive the price down, the product must be highly standardised,"
Kagermann said. This meant "less choice" of options to customise the product, he added.

By limiting product customisation and complexity, SAP and would be able to deploy the offering much faster, Kagermann said.

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