SAP ponders future of hosting business

SAP is mulling over the future of its hosting division as it prepares to ramp up its Business ByDesign on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) product.

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SAP is mulling over the future of its hosting division as it prepares to ramp up its Business ByDesign on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) product.

The company, which yesterday (28 October) reported a Q3 drop in profits, is considering a sale, partnership or a move to integrate the unit's services staff back into the parent corporation.

The company's main competencies lie in software services and support, not datacentre management, SAP spokesman Christoph Liedtke said.

SAP is getting ready to launch Business ByDesign on a broader basis after having previously scaled back roll-out plans for the service.

It is initially focusing on six markets – UK, China, France, Germany, India, and the U.S. -- while it ensures it can make enough of a profit on the offering.

The company has said it will begin by hosting Business ByDesign on its own and bring in partners later. Nothing has changed in that regard, Liedtke said.

SAP has named a number of initial pilot customers for the software. "You'll start to see customers coming live on it in greater numbers next year... in the first trimester time frame," said SAP executive board member Bill McDermott in an interview Tuesday.

SAP is also moving to build out the Business ByDesig n ecosystem. It recently announced a series of partner-provided enhancements to Business ByDesign, centering on payroll, payment reference data, business-to-business collaboration and sales and use tax processing.

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