SAP Furthers SaaS Push With New Business ByDesign Release

While it’s officially a feature pack, the new Business ByDesign 2.5 unveiled Monday is the first release SAP intends to make widely available to customers and partners.

SAP formally debuted the application set in September 2007, but the vendor has struggled getting the product to scale and developing economical ways to manage customer deployments and upgrades. The company has restricted sales to a small number of customers while it works out the bugs: Today there are only about 100 Business ByDesign customers, of which about 70 are live on the application set and the rest are in some phase of deployment, said Chrysoula Christopoulou, senior director of the Business ByDesign channel strategy.

While SAP offers an on-demand version of its enterprise CRM software, Business ByDesign is the company’s first complete Software-as-a-Service suite that competes with NetSuite and other cloud-computing startups. The application set is targeted toward businesses, especially those in manufacturing and professional services, with between 50 and 500 employees.

Business ByDesign 2.5 addresses the scalability issue by utilizing a multi-tenant architecture, Christopoulou said. The applications also provide real-time, in-memory analytical tools and offer business extension capabilities that customers and channel partners can use to make changes to forms and default user interfaces.

Sponsored post

SAP now has about 40 partners working with Business ByDesign and the company will be recruiting more now that the new release is available. “Partners are a core strategy” for ramping up Business ByDesign sales, Christopoulou said. While she didn’t disclose specific recruiting goals, she indicated that the number would not be huge. “It’s obviously important that we have the right coverage from partners in the market,” she said.

The extension capabilities and access to development APIs are of particular importance for Business ByDesign partners, said Greg Brinton, a sales representative at ERP 4 Me, an SAP Business ByDesign partner in Moraga, Calif.

SAP also is offering new starter packages for Business ByDesign that make it easier for new customers to adopt the on-demand applications. The packages are pre-defined CRM, ERP and professional service application subsets of the full suite, available with dedicated implementation methodologies at fixed prices starting at $13,500.