SAP on the Cloud
SaaS and OnDemand
Posts Tagged: Business
September 26, 2012 by Greg Chase
Up until last night I had this comfortable little narrative that went like this: IT executives like cloud computing because it allows them to reduce operating costs in IT. On the other hand business executives like cloud computing because it allows them to realize benefits of new capabilities much faster, sometimes allowing them to bypass IT by ordering software as a service. It’s a great narrative since it shows the ongoing gap between IT and business and suggests that IT is missing more important business benefits, and thus would be have trouble making a business case for cloud computing projects. All I needed was some provocative third party data to back this narrative up.
The death of a narrative
Retreading On Premise Systems to Leverage Cloud Technology – Part II of Turning Cloudy Chaos into an IT Strategy
September 20, 2012 by Greg Chase
This blog continues the discussion we started with Turning Cloudy Chaos into an IT Strategy Part I. Here we examine how existing on premise systems of record such as SAP Business Suite can be brought into a cloud-centered IT strategy.
The vast majority of people reading SCN work for companies that already have existing enterprise on-premise systems up and running. These companies are enjoying the business efficiencies from having their end-to-end business processes supported with comprehensive solutions such as SAP Business Suite.
April 4, 2012 by Brad Smith
A Guest Blog Post by Celia Brown, Sr. Marketing Manager, SAP AG
Last week I found myself with several hours to kill (and sadly no wifi) in the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris. As I idled in the waiting area at the gate, I observed the organized chaos swirling around me and realized that the air travel industry offers a powerful analogy for the many enterprises facing the challenge of managing a hybrid environment.
Looking to my right, the gate check-in desk was abuzz with activity as airline employees processed seat changes, balanced baggage and passenger weight distribution, and re-booked passengers who had fallen victim to cancelled or overbooked flights. My plane had just pulled in to the gate and you could hear both the passengers and airline employees breathe a collective sigh of relief. (more…)
February 17, 2012 by Sven Denecken
In our previous blog: Talent On Demand? Key drivers to get- and keep best talents engaged we eluded to the idea that cloud vendors wanting to win in the talent management space must build applications from the employee up, not the enterprise down. We outlined the key principles that we believe any vendor should look at when designing applications for employees.
One important piece, which is attached to the employee success, is having an effective talent management process that a company can offer to their employees. HR should, and to some degree already is, transforming their talent management process to better serve employees. Nonetheless, this transformation needs to happen fast.
January 5, 2012 by Peter Laemmer
Competitive advantage occurs when an organization acquires or develops an attribute or combination of attributes that allows it to outperform its competitors. Within the context of cloud computing I would see competitive advantage
-if a company can grow revenue, e.g. through a faster product development cycle
-if a company can improve their cash flow, e.g. through cost savings
-if a company can improve effectiveness, e.g. through speeding up processes.
Managers can use Cloud Computing to outperform their competitors in different areas:
Companies often use allocated development in different areas, e.g. for the development of new products. Let´s assume you have to consider design features and technical features. For that you have a design office in Berlin and the technical department is based in Shanghai. In this case you have to share a lot of information between both facilities. If companies want to offer this service internally they have to invest in hardware and manpower in order to maintain the service.
There exist cloud-based services, where a company can share all sorts of files and information in order to accelerate the time to bring the product to the market. They do not need to set-up such a time and cost intensive environment. They buy the required service and according to Christensen´s law they gain competitive advantage with a faster product launch.
Companies need to select the right data that deliver the right information to make decisions, evaluate investments, support actions and a lot more. There exist cloud services that deliver the appropriate hardware and algorithms that have the capacity to exactly do that. Companies can focus on their business while choosing the required service in the cloud to support it.
Often these services are used to select and analyze a huge amount of customer data. SAP currently announced the partnership with C2B Company NetBase. This company specialized on the analysis of social media data that is produced from customers. With these insights companies can gain “socialknowledge” and at the end can outperform their competitors (see Blog from Sven Denecken)
#3: Platform as a Service (PaaS) as development framework
Companies need to standardize their processes and applications even more when they decide to transfer parts of their IT in the cloud. They should do that to use cloud services with a maximum benefit. But nevertheless, they have to develop own applications for their business. They can do that on their own infrastructure, set-up the required servers, configure it, and maintain it. Or they can use cloud based development frameworks. The developed applications are deployed by the owner of the PaaS and made available via a store. The SAP Business ByDesign Studio is an example where a developer community can work on a cloud-based PaaS in order to deploy and distribute their software – even via a portal called SAP Store. Customers get access to the store in order to download the required services.
December 13, 2011 by Peter Laemmer
According to Coase‘s law companies should only do what they do better than other companies. They should outsource what can be done by others more efficiently. According to that law CLOUD computing is a logical next step in the usage of IT. Companies have the possibility to outsource their software- and hardware-related investments to other firms who can handle this investment more efficiently.
This impacts all companies, especially the SME´s. They do not want to invest huge amount of money in their ERP infrastructure. A solution for them could be a complete ERP suite in the CLOUD (e.g. SAP Business ByDesign); companies can get full transparency over their business processes without paying a lot upfront for hardware, software, implementation, and maintenance.
By choosing such a solution they can gain a competitive advantage by:
- using a fully integrated ERP solution, which leads to transparency over the business and fast and reliable data for business decisions
- using the latest technology like mobile applications, which make data available all the time, wherever you are
- reducing operations-related effort
- reducing hardware-related effort
All that is possible with enormous cost advantage over traditional on premise solutions.
December 5, 2011 by Ian McCullough
It has been 27 days since my last post. After endless wrangling with concepts and angles for posts about legacy, I surrender.
I had one idea that would have built off of a quote from Mick Jagger, and had another idea that was going to pay homage to Back to the Future. (A lightning bolt is a key plot element in that film after all.) Those ideas both felt gimmicky and hollow to me.
But….now that I think about it…maybe that’s okay. Maybe you’re stuck too. The first thing I usually do when I’m stuck is try to pull apart the situation and see what pieces emerge. Let us therefore tug at the bindings of legacy as it pertains to cloud technologies.
For established (non IT-providing) businesses there are only two good reasons I can think of not to change over to cloud-based services:
November 30, 2011 by brigittekleinschmidt
To complement its portfolio of on-demand solutions, SAP is collaborating with leading IT and business service providers to make a wide range of SAP solutions available to customers in the form of outsourced and cloud services as needed.
By taking advantage of these offerings, you have the option of deploying SAP solutions not just by using the on-premise model but also by choosing an outsourcing or cloud services model that suits your individual needs. To help ensure that you can leverage highquality service, ease of integration within hybrid environments, best-practice knowledge from providers, and appropriately scaled operations, SAP collaborates closely with its service providers.
October 12, 2011 by Ian McCullough
One of the reasons that I choose to become an SAP customer is my respect for the people I’ve met. So the other morning when Carolyn Brock – the Director of Social Media Marketing who enlisted me to write for SAP on the Cloud – invited me to have a chat with Bonnie D. Graham because she was starting a “brought to you by SAP” Internet talk radio program, I was favorably disposed and totally on-board!
Yeah — I know, I know. These sorts of testimonial posts are supposedly more compelling when the narrator starts out full of skepticism and doubt and is then won over at the end. Let’s be honest, though: I am not an SAP employee and I’m not getting paid for this — but I have agreed to do an extended series of thought pieces and I associate myself with the SAP brand quite proudly. I am not unbiased. I am a big fan of these people. You can go to some other corporate blog if you want saccharine.
Speaking of things you can add to your coffee, SAP presented the very first episode of Breakfast with Game Changers on VoiceAmerica Radio last Wednesday at 11 am US-ET / 8 am US-PT. (If that time doesn’t work for you, you can also download the podcast on iTunes.) Bonnie kicked things off this with some thoughtful conversation about the nature of being “a game changer” with SAP’s Dan Mahowald. I even did some live tweeting to add to the discussion. Having a radio program is a really cool way for SAP to support the community every week. You can sit and eat your personal breakfast (be it a donut with sprinkles or an egg-white omelet — to each their own), check some e-mail while Bonnie interviews a business leader of interest in the background, and perhaps pick up some small bit that rattles around in your head. That rattling might lead to a seemingly trivial decision that you make differently during your day. You can tune in again the following week and maybe there’ll be another slight change to some choice. If you make a weekly routine of listening, sooner or later some of Bonnie’s food for thought could be the very thing that starts a chain reaction with game changing results for you. (Hey now — my point is dead-on and the wordplay was practically served to me on a plate.) As is always the case, though, Bonnie can only serve up the ideas. It is your job to convert those ideas into energy and action.
To wash this post down, I’ll anchor it with a theme that I’m mixing throughout my work: the best tools, technology, and processes are only a part of the recipe for success. To truly make the most of a powerful business infrastructure, you need deep thinking, practical insights, and great people. You can get a helping of all three of those things on Bonnie’s program on Wednesday mornings.
Ian McCullough is an independent project management and operations consultant for consumer-facing businesses. He has successfully deployed cloud-based solutions (including SAP Business ByDesign) at the companies he works with, so he is an active practitioner and builder – not just some random theorist. For more information, you can visit his LinkedIn profile. SAP strives to provide world-leading service to all of its customers regardless of size, so rest assured that the opinions presented in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of SAP or its agents.
Joker Breakfast © 2007 Malczewski Wojciech. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.
October 3, 2011 by Ian McCullough
“First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature?”
– Dr. Hannibal Lector in the Silence of the Lambs
In my first post for SAP, I observed that an orchestra seems to play Morgenstimmung every time someone utters the phrase “cloud computing.” This jargon presents a serious risk for business leaders who haven’t caught on yet since the symphonic score for the change we’re in the middle of is actually much more like O Fortuna. (I’m not trying to be hoity-toity. Click the links. You’ll know the songs.)
Before I go further, let me acknowledge that the title of this post may seem like a bait-and-switch. If you expected me to say that it’s all much ado about nothing, here’s my point: this topic is infected with cliché, buzzwords, and hollow language. Anyone who watches cable news can attest that language affords and constrains the thoughts that underpin a given subject. As jargon is the second biggest obstacle to meaningful business discussion (the first being PowerPoint), let us explore what actually makes so-called cloud computing a topic of such interest. Panels, presentations, and papers abound that discuss the importance of “the cloud,” but I have yet to see any that succinctly summarizes its nature for a general audience.
“The cloud” = Using a network connection to do things and store things on computers that you don’t directly control.
This is what the cloud physically looks like:
From the perspective of most individuals, business computing has been “in the cloud” for decades. End users do things on devices with monitors, keyboards, and mice (you can add in cameras, microphones, and touchscreens these days) and corporate IT departments maintain all of the big machines in the noisy rooms at the back of the office that no one but them usually goes into. Long ago, the language used was “terminal & mainframe.” It then became “PC & server.”
If this is the case, then why all the fuss? We must consider the current revolution at the corporate level, because the same thing that has long been true individually is finally true organizationally. Thanks to increasing computing power, increasing network capacity, and falling equipment costs, there are now whole companies that take care of the big machines and noisy rooms and allow others to use that power over the Internet. Although some will get fussy about the semantics – which is why we’re peeling away linguistic layers here – “the cloud” is to information technology as offshore contract manufacturing has been to supply chains.
The beautiful images of bright horizons mask another word that once was empty jargon. That word, especially in these tough economic times, has now become infused with meaning.
Ian McCullough is an independent consultant for consumer-facing businesses. He has successfully deployed cloud-based solutions (including SAP Business ByDesign) at the companies he works with, so he is an active practitioner and builder – not just some random theorist. He personally has no objections to large, established companies resting on their laurels since he generally serves the small companies that will ultimately displace them. For more information, you can visit his LinkedIn profile. SAP strives to provide world-leading service to all of its customers regardless of size, so rest assured that the opinions presented in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of SAP or its agents.
Server Room © 2009 Torkild Retvedt. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Dcentre Racks © 2009 Lgate74. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Server Farm © 2009 Faber. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
- Find my blogs here now
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- Interesting Feedback from SAP Customers About Hybrid Cloud in Recent Webinar
- Removing HR Blind Spots
- Chewing on the billion user goal
- B2B Integration Strategy (OnPremise, OnDemand and Hybrid)
- Walking on a level playing field for HR – with end-to-end talent management suites with pre-integration
- Adding on New Capabilities with SaaS – Part III of Turning Cloudy Chaos into an IT Strategy
- New Financials: Helping Finance Deliver Greater Business Insight
- SAP Financials OnDemand .. A Primer