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It is the G-Cloud Phase ii standstill period at the moment so I can’t reveal to you the additional Cloud applications that  SAP successfully bid to be listed on the Cloudstore – the UK Government’s online catalogue of downloadable Cloud services. But I can give you my top 4 reasons why I think the UK Public Sector should seriously consider SAP for Cloud – and that’s what I’ve done below.

There are many reasons for choosing SAP for Cloud – but these are my top four for the UK Public Sector:

Reason 1 – Comittment. SAP has invested $4.3bn in Ariba and $3.4bn in SuccessFactors in the course of this year alone.That’s over £6bn ! In addition to its own, in house developed, Cloud solutions SAP provides the UK public sector with the market’s leading Cloud based applications for people performance, sourcing and procurement. And history shows that when SAP decides to focus on a market it rapidly achieves a position of dominance. Cloud is one of SAP’s five strategic “pillars” (the others being Applications, Analytics, Mobile and Database and Technology). Lars Dalgaard, SuccessFactors charismatic founder, is leading a Cloud business of over 4000 employees and a Cloud user base of over 17m – and that’s before we count in the Ariba acquisition !

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Reason 2 – Hybrid. I covered this in my blog “Public (Sector) Cloud – I agree with Denise”. SAP’s Cloud strategy recognises that downloadable Cloudstore applications will need to work with each other and with on premise solutions in an integrated hybrid environment – regardless of whether these applications are from SAP, or from other third parties. And this integration needs to be achievable in a way that doesn’t lead to lock-in or to the traditional over reliance on a small number of traditional suppliers. Read my blog to see how SAP achieves this.

Reason 3 – Applications. SAP has built a reputation delivering best in class pre-integrated business applications – and the Cloud is no different. The UK public sector can choose from a pre-integrated suite (downloadable in stages) and/or best in class loosely coupled applications, which can be downloaded in any sequence. These latter being focused in the four categories of Money (e.g, Travel onDemand), People (SuccessFactors), Suppliers (Ariba) and Customers (e.g. Customer OnDemand). All these solutions will offer mobile, social and analytics capabilities. But then these are also available stand alone too. E.g. BI OnDemand and Social Customer Engagement OnDemand. In fact SAP’s biggest ever integrated Cloud suite contract (Business ByDesign) is with an Australian government department – but more of that in a later blog.

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Reason 4 – SMEs and the EcoSystem In my blog “Cloud and SAP – Good for SMEs !” I recognised the importance placed by the G-Cloud programme on giving SMEs access to UK public sector contracts and helping them become a motor of the UK’s economic growth. SAP does this in a number of ways by providing SMEs with access to an open integration platform and software developer kits to build, integrate or extend cloud solutions and then allowing SMEs to monetise these solutions by listing them on the Cloudstore and the SAPStore, Read my blog to find out more about how SAP achieves this.

By the way the G-Cloud Phase ii standstill period ends on October 15th, which means SAP will be free to talk about their Cloudstore listings at Think G-Cloud on October 18th at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. Attendance is free for public sector employees – so why don’t you come along ?

The above screenshot shows Sven Denecken (VP and Head of Co-Innovation Cloud Solutions at SAP) outlining SAP’s Cloud Strategy. I’ve provided links in the past to his videos. This is the link to his full 10 minute version !

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Steve Mawby is a Solution Architect at SAP UK with a focus on Public Sector and Cloud. He writes from the aspect of the UK public sector – but his blogs are relevant for many other industries and geographies too. He has written a whitepaper on SAP’s Cloud Strategy for the UK Public Sector and can be contaced at steve.mawby@sap.com

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