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Author's profile photo Sven Denecken

SAP’s Cloud Approach – supporting hybrid landscapes to do serious business



SAP’s Cloud Approach – supporting hybrid landscapes to do serious business

November 17, 2011 by Sven Denecken

During Sapphire we did lay out SAP´s cloud strategy in several encouraging meetings – with customers, partners and of course with our influencer community. Peter Lorenz explained in his session on where we are heading – I thought you might like some of the key topics in writing…

Check this blog for the fundamental building blocks of SAP´s Cloud Strategy where we have aligned all of cloud related activities to offer the market the best and most reliable business cloud to run business more efficiently and leverage the positives of the cloud.

The cloud strategy is based on four main pillars: OnDemand solutions (SaaS), Platform and Eco-System (PaaS), Commercial Platform and Cloud Operations (IaaS).



SAP’s cloud approach differentiates significantly from the competition by allowing customers to orchestrate hybrid solution landscapes that best fit their business. We are committed to win in the cloud market by leveraging all our assets and providing a choice for our customers to configure a solution landscape out of on-premise, outsourced and on-demand solutions that best fits their needs. To get where we want to be, we will deliver cloud services in five flavors: software, collaboration, data, mobile and platforms as a service.

As a result, solution landscapes will often combine multiple deployment models, hybrid solution landscapes will become the norm.



1.     On Demand Solutions (SaaS)

Check out the portfolio of our solutions via . Important starting point for us has been, that for this entire solutions portfolio user experience is key. We do follow the approach of Design Thinking and Co-Innovation with customers and partners.

Key Design Principles are as follows:


  • Mobile & User Experience

For OnDemand solutions the consumer grade user experience is key. Compared with some other old-fashioned SaaS solutions we differentiate through consistency & attractiveness. We provide a fully adaptable UI (look, user interface, extensions, etc.) and the UI Model is independent from rendering. New UI paradigms like HTML5 are easy to adopt. Just compare with some of the 10 year old screens the end users of some SaaS “leaders” sit in front of, not compare to the marketing brochures or mock-ups.

Mobile first!  Mobility needs to be build-in from day one, as this trend is changing our business. We will see entire populations and specific working groups leapfrog the era of a PC or Laptop. To provide online access out of the box, paired with a modelled container/player approach, ensures to keep up with the fast innovation cycles in this segment. And by forcing an engineer to build for a screen in a size of a smart phone and/or tablet – believe me – creates different and better solutions.


  • Insight/Decision

Simplicity of the solutions, tailored to the exact need of the respective audience ensures high value to the users. We achieve this through role concepts, intuitive navigation, business driven configuration and design thinking approach with customers.

Insight at your fingertips with business context is guaranteeing fast value – a lesson we have learned with the domain expertise we have in house. This is achieved by embedded analytics, powered by inMemory and will also result in new applications – simulative, predictive, …


  • Socially Integrated

To address the needs of social behaviour, our solutions are designed network centric & collaborative. In addition the ability to mash up services, feeds and the capabilities to integrate social networks is one, even more important is that our collaboration is embedded in the business processes – NOT an afterthought with a tool on top creating additional noise.

Especially the ability of OnDemand/OnPremise Integration and the openness of B2B scenarios enable our customers and partners for the future and increases efficiency. Connectivity between one business and the other over the cloud – a big  topic not only in our installed base. But believe me, 65% of world wide GDP touched by an SAP system – we know how to do that, now coming cloud based.


  • Speed/TCO/Scalability

To gain speed, beside waves of new solutions every quarter in 2012 and a new version of the service minimum every half-year, we have focused as well on topics around personalization, adaptability and extensibility. We do enable our eco-system and customers to work with a Software Development Kit (SDK) on our PaaS´s and are exposing a public semantic model to have a head start. See more below under eco-system.

Those add-ons will be certified by SAP and provisioned via an App Store, ensuring seamless distribution to customers and end-users.



2.     Platform and Ecosystem (PaaS)


Today two SAP Cloud Platforms, the Core and the Edge Platform, will serve SAP Cloud Solutions to support the rapidly evolving developer needs at the “edge” of enterprise applications, while preserving the stability and integrity needs of “core” enterprise applications.


  • Core PaaS – NGAP/ByD based platform for transactional applications that leverage the services and end-to-end business processes provided by SAP Business ByDesign. This is the ideal foundation for transactional Line of Business on-demand solutions, like e.g. SAP Sales OnDemand, SAP Travel OnDemand, SAP Store
  • Edge PaaS – Java based platform components, and the technology of project “River” is evolving as the foundation for building ‘edge’ or utility applications, such as network centric applications that collect data from all different sources, analyse them and provide some information back to e.g. SAP Business Suite.


The key objectives of SAP´s PaaS are to enable the ecosystem to accelerate innovation. We do achieve this by enabling them to build on-demand (SaaS) apps with transactional as well as collaborative and analytical capabilities. At the end partners, and respective the customers,will decide based on accelerate speed, efficiency, integration and security – a gold standard powered by SAP´s business cloud.

SAP´s cloud infrastructure will support appropriate cloud infrastructure options (SAPs private Cloud, customers’ Private Cloud, and Public Cloud) that best fit the needs of each application type. We are already and will further leverage In-Memory and mobility, two important disruptive trends which the end user will benefit, even more expect.

Needles to say that a uniform programming and user experience model, delivering the results in a multi-tenancy, rapid provisioning and elastic scalable way are further attributes that define the success of a PaaS. More than that, given a hybrid landscape of solutions at the customers, the need to provide straightforward integration and orchestration (to on premise, master date, security) differentiates from an approach going via service partners or providers. Results in one layer of complexity less.

Last but not least, for partners a platform needs to facilitate performance management, usage tracking and billing – and let us not forget – a global reach to the markets.

All tools and development services are converging around the SAP NetWeaver technology foundation- enabling out of the box integration to SAP´s Business Suite, as well as on a set of common standards around quality, security, in-memory technology, analytics, application life cycle management etc.



Co-Innovation with Customers + Partners ensures us building a vibrant partner ecosystem. We are providing a set of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings to allow partners to leverage our cloud innovations to deliver new solutions and services.

And one of the main differentiators for the Core platform is, you start from a platform that is derived from a complete suite – not just a toolbox or one functional area like lets say sales? Nearly all the objects are defined and available – key for partners to build differentiating solutions capabilities on top.

We will, together with the eco-system, increase solution reach with additional functionality and support a broad set of use cases and application types from core transactional applications to collaborative, analytical, and mobile applications. There are a multitude of extensibility use cases and development/test environments.

This will allow us to increase solution reach with additional functionality for more industry segments and countries and to address the needs of larger portions of a customer’s user base. Ultimately we will shorten development time for enhancements by marshalling customer and partner involvement directly.



3.     Commercial Platform (PaaS/IaaS)

SAP Store: A Platform for Partners to Build and Sell Cloud Add-ons/ Covering development through sales and customer support 


In the past months we already have been working with selected partners including Accenture, Bautzen IT, Data One, All for One and Intelligence who are leveraging the SAP ByD studio to create add-ons and other solutions to be made available in the SAP Store. We continue to expand this dedicated engagement with partners in a step-by-step approach throughout 2011, including the LoB OnDemand solutions.

The SAP Store will provide a broad offering of partner solutions around SAP Business ByDesign – including integration scenarios, mash-ups, services and add-ons for customers to choose from.  At the same time we will be keeping a close focus on gathering feedback from customers and partners in the early days of the SAP Store to guarantee the high quality and flawless processes our customers and partners are expecting.

During Sapphire we announced the addition of the SAP Mobile solutions for the SAP Business Suite as the next category in the store, now as well available via iTunes App store… just search for SAP.


  4.     Cloud Operations + Infrastructure – continuous investment into SAP Cloud (IaaS)

 SAP Cloud operations adhere to the highest compliance standards (ISO 27001, SAS 70 Type II, ISAE 3402 certificate) as security and quality is essential in the cloud business.

SAP Data Centers are located in Germany and US, APJ in preparation – iot will be all about giving the customers choices on where their data should be. For China we collaborate with China Telecom to use their Cloud Computing Infrastructure for SAP Business ByDesign.

The scalability through full multi-tenancy enablement and In-Memory readiness via latest blade technology with 144 GB – 2 TB main-memory is an important differentiator of SAP´s cloud operations. In-memory database will further improve performance and reduce cost of integration with a service backbone.

Through continuous, proactive monitoring we ensure highest availability and with a SAP support network (Cloud Services Provider Certification Program), which focuses on training up partners with SAP skills to use certified environments and support infrastructure for SAP applications we support global availability.


In December we will further detail our Cloud strategy with the influencer community in Boston, looking forward to feedback and input – 2012 will be a key year for SAP´s cloud strategy to be rolled out further to the market.



Ah, and for the ones who are willing to look at the videos check it out on our SAPPHIRENOW online platform:

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