There was a lot a talk at the recent Sapphire event on how SAP’s Business ByDesign had passed 500 customers and it is becoming clear that this will be a core area of focus for SAP going forward. SAP Business By Design is a Multi-Tenancy Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that is focused on midsized companies with 100-500 employees that per SAP “Are seeking a complete solution with limited IT resources and budget”. It has an On-Demand deployment model, monthly subscriptions and is currently available in the US, UK, Germany, France, China, India, Austria, Switzerland and Canada.
This article is going to focus on Business ByDesign from a Human Resources perspective as I believe it and the upcoming Career OnDemand which uses the ByDesign platform is a key part of the future for SAP and SAP HR. The Business ByDesign solution for HR helps midsized companies support their organization by providing functionality around people master data management, organizational structure management, personnel administration, time and labor management, compensation, payroll, employee self-services and management self-services with integration to other core operations such as accounting and project management.
Some of the key features of the offering per SAP are as follows:
• Corporate organizational management – Dynamically create and manage organizational structures and make changes to support business change
• Human resources – Centrally manage and execute personnel administration tasks, enforce company-wide compensation structures for different employee groups, and access and update employee compensation data
• Self-services – Let employees perform common tasks without involving your HR staff and give managers departmental visibility and the ability to run reports
• Compliance – Comply with regulations and industry standards, even as regulations change
• Analytics – Gain a high degree of process and data visibility and facilitate decision making
Some of the key business benefits per SAP are as follows:
• Simplify people management by automating administrative tasks and integrating HR processes with those of other departments
• Increase efficiency by implementing self-services so your employees and managers have more control over work activities
• Ease adaptation to change through flexible and virtual employment models that let you respond to globalization and increased competition
• Enhance compliance with country-specific workforce requirements by defining rules for new hires that specify particular system and data access rights
• Improve resource management by managing resources and staffing for internal projects and tracking work hours of external resources
Shown below is a screen shot of the self-services functionality to give you some perspective of Business ByDesign’s attractive user interface. I got this from the SAP Business ByDesign website which I would highly recommend joining as it has a wealth of information.
My initial thought is that the current offering is light on HCM functionality but I will preface that by saying my background is working for large companies using the SAP On-Premise HCM offering which is very rich in functionality so this may be sufficient for what mid market customers need. It is important to note that SAP plans to open up the ByDesign platform to their partners and customers so they can extend the offering and I would expect this to provide more specific HCM functionality much like Kaba has done around external time and attendance functionality. I would expect more HCM specific functionality to be offered as Business ByDesign 3.0 is expected to be released in August, 2011 and version 3.5 in January 2012.
Overall I am excited about the direction SAP is going with their Multi-Tenancy Software as a Service (SaaS) Business ByDesign offering as well as the upcoming Career OnDemand offering which I hope to write more about once SAP gives me the okay (currently under NDA).