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Decision Making – Cloud or On-Premise

A lot buzz in the world of Cloud and especially for the SAP customer base. What does this mean to the existing SAP CRM on-premise customers? Do they have to move to cloud? What applications can move to cloud? Questions that they are asking themselves and their trusted advisors in the partner world.

Let me throw my perspective and would welcome any feedback.

Few questions that need to be addressed or answered are:

1)What functions are we currently running in the on-premise system?

2) Do we have an opportunity to move any functions to Cloud?

3) What is the TCO between on-premise and SaaS?

Let’s take a customer or client running the Utilities industry solution in SAP CRM. The current on-premise solution offers some very industry specific processes such as Move-In, Move-Outs, Utility Contracts, Credits and Collections etc. The  on-premise SAP CRM solution offers robust call center functions for the front office and the same is true for the back office. For such clients there is no SaaS application yet from SAP both on the Sales or Service side. The SaaS based solution is ruled out for these functions until the roadmap is published by SAP. But there is a tremendous opportunity for the customer or client’s salesforce to move to Cloud for Customer(C4C). With a lot of new features ( Mobility, Analytics, Collaboration tools  etc)in C4C there is a huge opportunity for salesforce to target the prospective customers, improve the pipeline and close deals effectively and efficiently. Last but not the least, the TCO analysis has to be carried out.

For a customer or client using the traditional SAP CRM processes, while there are opportunities to move to C4C, it is not going to be an easy decision.The TCO over a 5 or 10 period has to be looked at and at the same time a lot investment must have already gone into the existing implementation. All these have to be considered before making a decision on what what can be moved to Cloud.

We will come across a day where the customers will have an opportunity to move most of the on premise SAP ECC and CRM business functions to the SaaS based model and that day is not far off. We are already seeing that with C4C, SuccessFactors, Travel & Expense etc. Not a bad idea to rethink the on-premise/cloud strategy and establish some footprint now and get ready for the world of SAP Cloud to unleash the business benefits, stay competitive and increase revenue.

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