I was admiring a neighbor’s brand new orange Toyota Prius over the weekend, and my friend was so happy (and a bit cocky) as he described how much money he will save as well as how good the car is for the environment. Honestly, I have to say I was a little jealous! – “This is Game-Changing Technology” he said. To that statement, I had to agree.
With the Prius, Toyota came out with a vehicle that would drastically reduce cost of ownership and be good for the environment. How could it have taken so long to become the mainstream car that it is only now becoming?
The Toyota Prius with its novel battery and gas saving innovations was released first in 1997, nearly 16 years ago. It began from Toyota’s Earth Charter in 1992. I have to agree that it is a great car, and the current model still looks similar to the original 1997 model XW10 shown to the right, which was revolutionary at the time.
To put this in perspective, the state of the art from 16 years prior to the 1997 Prius was the 1981 Dodge Aries to the right – and how times have changed, thankfully.
Human nature is often skeptical of new things, particularly where there is an existing alternative. The iPhone took off like a rocket because there was no existing alternative; ERP in the 90’s went through a similar surge. Change in models in existing markets happen; it is just a more gradual adoption curve. SAP launched SAP Business ByDesign in 2007. Its game changing design gives clients a massive reduction in cost of ownership and unprecedented usability, configurability, accessibility and maintenance advantages over older technologies. SAP Business ByDesign has been
quietly growing in adoption just like the Prius since 2007. Last year saw over 100% in growth and there are now well over 1200 customers using the system.
Just like the Toyota, SAP offers alternatives to its customers in technologies, deployment and business focus. With the growth and maturity of SAP Business ByDesign, SAP has seen demand grow from larger customers with several hundred users adopting the system more than ever before.
SAP Business ByDesign is reaching maturity, which enables the product to be more clearly positioned into the SAP Cloud Application portfolio toward particular client segments.
SAP Business ByDesign, like the Prius is a catalyst for change within the company and within the Industry. Internally it has become the platform for other Line of Business cloud applications such as SAP Travel OnDemand and SAP Sales OnDemand, both of which are seeing rapid growth in large enterprise companies. SAP Business ByDesign has also been the catalyst for the SAP Store, a new secure way clients can buy cloud based application extensions that are certified to run alongside the SAP cloud applications in the same super secure cloud structure.
Clients now have the many cloud choices available to them. If they want highly scalable, cloud based deployment with its inclusive pricing, maintenance and security, SAP Business ByDesign is the way to go, particularly if deep professional services or manufacturing functionality is needed or connectivity to large enterprise installations. SAP Business ByDesign has moved its target market up stream to the 50-1000 user range.
Smaller companies may want to deploy SAP Business One OnDemand, a partner managed and maintained application for growing companies from 5 to 50 users. SAP Business One OnDemand has an outstanding deep partner channel that can help clients quickly deploy and extend with partner applications in many industries and languages.
Larger companies of 1000 – 2000 users may prefer to deploy the deep industry verticalized SAP Business All-in-One application, and can decide to have it hosted in the Amazon cloud.
This framework of choice gives SAP clients the ability to select the option that’s right for them. Just like the Prius, SAP Business ByDesign will continue to grow. Prius sales surge with every price increase of oil. SAP Business ByDesign will surge as maintenance and upgrade fees increase, as the cost of change and enhancement increases and as native cloud applications become even more ubiquitous.
Don’t expect SAP to make SAP Business ByDesign the entire focus of our cloud application strategy. It may be the most important element for the long term, but just like the Prius, customers will adopt when they are ready and in the mean time there is a beautiful showroom of options for our clients.
You could argue that the Prius was ahead of its time, they should have waited 5 years to launch, but what Toyota learned about what types of people buy hybrid cars, how they are used differently, how they are maintained and how they run meant that when the surge came they were ready and could be more confident than any other company in the market of their product.
If you are going to trust someone with the latest technology for your car, would you trust Toyota …. Or would you trust Delorean?