SAP's 2008 plan for on-demand ERP suite

SAP's 2008 plan for on-demand ERP suite

SAP has shed some light on its plan for a set of integrated on-demand ERP applications for midsize companies due to ship next year.

Code-named A1S, the service will be offered as an integrated suite of tools for running various business functions, such as the order-to-cash process, a company spokesman told the Sapphire 2007 user conference in Atlanta, US

The tools for the hosted service have been in development for three years.

The service is designed for small and midsize firms that shy away from packaged ERP systems because of cost, complexity and other issues.

He did not disclose the vendor’s pricing plans for the hosted service.

A1S will make it easier for companies to configure and deploy their ERP applications at virtually the touch of a button, says Joshua Greenbaum, an analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting in Berkeley, California. “The configuration is done on the fly, and it’s quite leading-edge,” he says.

The service will likely appeal to midmarket firms looking to avoid having to manage or maintain back-end applications, Greenbaum says.

At the conference, SAP and Microsoft jointly announced plans to update Duet, which links SAP’s ERP applications with the Microsoft Office business software suite.

Duet first shipped in June 2006. Version 2.0, which will ship by the end of 2008, will include new links to allow sales personnel to access SAP’s CRM software through the Office desktop, the companies say.

The new version will also have a link from SAP’s business applications to Microsoft’s Sharepoint Server collaboration software, SAP and Microsoft say.

Meanwhile, SAP announced that the Duet software will be preloaded on Hewlett-Packard's Proliant servers beginning in June.

SAP also unveiled SAP E-Sourcing, a hosted application that can be used to automate requests for proposals and online auction processes. The service is priced at US$10,000 and is available now, the company say.

SAP says in May its governance risk and compliance unit will ship the GRC Risk Management application to help corporate chief financial officers react to financial risks.

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