A Look Back: SAP Business One®
SAP Business One has more than 65,000 customers and over 1 million users in more than 160 countries. More than 5,000 new customers are added every year as on-premise, subscription and Cloud hosted by SAP.
But it all started 25 years ago in Israel with a company called Ocek. (Figure 1.) That core technology was acquired by SAP in 2003 and soon became SAP Business One.
In 2011, I was asked to lead a go-to-market project for the SAP Business One solution. Up until that time, the ecosystem of 700+ partners was installing and implementing the solution on Windows servers, SQL servers even laptops. To be ready to go to the market, an important piece was missing – the certified appliance in which every SAP HANA solution needs to run.
Fujitsu stepped forward and immediately engineered a server for SAP Business One. It had a two socket Westmere EP and 48GB of memory, making it the smallest ever server for SAP HANA and the beginning of the 2 sockets era. (Figure 2.)
At the time, I remember asking Addi Brosig for help defining a reference architecture with 16GB of RAM. “SAP Business One will never need more than that,” I said to Addi. A few years later, Addi reminded me of my words when we were asked to go beyond 1TB of memory.
We released SAP Business One analytics powered by SAP HANA on February 29, 2012. One week later, at Cebit 2012, our team presented the solution to Hasso Plattner. Volker Anders did a live demo (Figure 3) and Andreas Wolfinger drafted a contract for the first German customer (Figure 4).
In July that same year, we were invited to represent SAP Business One at the first SAP HANA Council, held in Potsdam at the HPI. The main message to an audience of large enterprise customers was that SAP ERP was running on SAP HANA.
On stage, Juergen Mueller and Ian Kimbell did a demo of a cash flow forecast and advanced ATP scenarios, which became new features for SAP Business One, version for SAP HANA (running on a Mac Mini) that was released September 2012 as the first ERP fully in-memory in the world.
Growing consistently over the last 8 years, SAP Business One reached 50% of the net new customers on SAP HANA in 2019, with more than 2,500 new customers booked. But this wouldn’t have been possible without the enablement of our ecosystem. Our partner SUSE provides preconfigured software images and made available multiple SUSE Academies for Certified Administrators, to accelerate the transition of a Windows/SQL oriented ecosystem to Linux/SAP HANA.
The Business One Solution Expert team (now GPO SME Partner Enablement) delivered hundreds of SAP HANA workshops, data modeling clinics and coding for extensibility sessions to remove any resistance from the consultants that got convinced when extensions with hundreds of SQL code lines could easily be built with just few lines, by leveraging standard SAP HANA libraries with much faster results (we have cases of customers that for the same ‘Credit report’ instead of more than 2 hours they now take less than 20 min).
Since the use of SAP HANA, SAP Business One has a superior message, that is being used to win deals against competitors and give customers more value and satisfaction with their system!
Happy Birthday from the best kept secret powered by SAP HANA – the SAP Business One solution.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Please let me know your stories about SAP Business One, version for SAP HANA in the Comments below. I will tell few more in the following days.
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