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I am excited to write my first blog and please excuse me if am flooding you with too much detail.

For the past few months I have been exploring Cloud, Big Data, Hadoop and where the industry is trending. Got very excited with the Hadoop programming and the way it is transforming or revolutionizing the business applications in a SaaS model. Having been in the SAP CRM world for 12 years, it’s amazing to see how this application has transformed from an on-premise to a cloud based offering.  From a traditional SAPGUI to PCUI to Web UI to Cloud based HTML5 UI. I have been in many engagements where we had to replace a Salesforce.com or SIEBEL with SAP CRM. I always had the challenge with the clients where they would question:

1. GUI
2. Complex Infrastructure and having to support multiple environments.
3. Implementation costs
4. Upgrade costs
5. On going support costs

The only selling point I had was the integration with the SAP ERP system and no one can deny that fact. Having questioned so many times, I have been looking into the Salesforce.com offering and was amazed with the features and functions. No doubt it is the best of the breed in the market currently. While SAP is a little late in the game, they are not far off. Looking at the SAP Cloud for customer and the features it has, it is definitely going to be a game changer and the biggest of all is the integration with the on-premise (SAP ERP) or SAP cloud applications( SuccessFactors,Jam etc),the biggest selling point with any SAP application.

While the SaaS based applications are user friendly and easy to adapt, they come with heavy subscription price. When you look at the TCO over a 5 or 10 year period SaaS based model does turn out to be a better option. I think SaaS based model for Marketing, Sales & Service turns out to be cheaper considering the costs involved with implementation, support & upgrades.

While Salesforce.com is a matured SaaS based application with a greater penetration into market, I still feel it lacks the depth in integrating with on-premise SAP applications and SAP is quickly trying to cash on those. At the same time, SAP has its owns challenges and will have to quickly respond to the market demands especially in the cloud space. Salesforce.com has some very seasoned channel partners/VARs and SAP is still building partner relationships in the cloud space. Some open questions are still out there.

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