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“Above the clouds, freedom seems to be unlimited” – Enterprise cloud solutions        

 A famous german songwriter, Rheinhard Mey, once wrote a song about flying. “Above the clouds, freedom seems to be unlimited”.

And if you would follow the message of Microsoft´s “To the cloud” commercial with Windows Live you will get exactly this impression. The sky is the limit.

Also most headlines of 2011 CeBit are again, as 2010, about cloud computing. But where is the real limit and freedom of a cloud offering?

Classical enterprise Solutions are designed to meet process owner requirements. The solution architecture allow high complexity and fairly tailored specific processes.

The process centric approach allows to visualize and execute unlimited complexity and customizing. It is designed to ensure process consistency and compliance in best manner.

How far is this away from freedom above the cloud: Easy to use, immediate value of use, scalable, positive user experience, everything is possible almost everywhere.

But this is the message of cloud computing…we have to admit ourselves, that this is not the image we have in the market at all. Even our 1st steps into On Demand offerings have not changed the perception so far. Going back in time, SAP introduced NetWeaver and SOA architecture in 2003. Web Services and the ESA concept have been major cornerstones of the concept.  Later some On premise solutions have been put into a hosted environment and branded as On demand. The time was not right and some critical elements were missing. All deals were still upfront license deals, the solution still couldn´t grow and shrink on-demand, it was not self-healing, it was strongly dependent on centralized components and it was purely far too complex.

 It’s was just not right.

The on demand offering is, similar to other offerings, as good as the weakest link in the chain. You can just not rely on the strong aspects of your offerings and hope that they heal the other aspects.

  • A good Infrastructure availability 24/7 with fast onboarding
  • A good Platform to ensure solution stability, a development infrastructure and scalability
  • User centric, easy to use solution which are creating instant value for the end user
  • Smart Service to add value

All that at competitive prices. because this has to be clear: The On Demand market is a transparent market. The offering must be good enough to be choosen anyway, not because it is SAP.

With our new LoB On Demand offering and Suite offering based on our platform ByD, we are able to deliver in 2011 for the 1st time real On Demand solutions. All attributes on the requirement list, expected for an On Demand offering, are hooked. A strong platform which has the ability to really scale, combined with solution to immediately add value to line of business user. Taking Sales On Demand as example: the solution is smart, line of business oriented, user centric and runs based on our ByD platform on SAP infrastructure.

The solution is ready for SAP´s execution in the On Demand business and we all have to cross fingers that the market will catch up with it. This is an important milestone in SAP´s On Demand future.

What else is required in the future: Netweaver in the beginning helped us to learn our own lesson, what was probably already known in the market space. The platform itself is not worth anything as long as you do not offer really cool “must have” solutions. To make a whole ecosystem moving it needs more. And SAP – of course – has an impressive ecosystem. Key to our success will be the traffic on the platform. It is an easy equation: No traffic = no attractiveness = no business; high volume traffic = high attractiveness = huge business opportunities.

The attractiveness of the ByD SDK and the use conditions will have a very important influence on our future On Demand business opportunities.  For a successful eShop you need the market to be a PULL market. Must have applications have to stimulate the market enough to meet in that market space. If we will have a PUSH market we will just have another additional process to trade and and to receive payments but no new substantial and scaling business opportunities.

Some homework is done, a lot more to come.

“Above the clouds, freedom seems to be unlimited
All fears and all sorrows, is said, are covered beyond”

                           based on Reinhard Mey

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