Feeds

SAP plays tease over mid-market Salesforce 'killer'

It's different, but better. Oh yes...

High performance access to file storage

SAP has doled out a handful of details on A1S, its eagerly anticipated mid-market on-demand suite, while promising to be better than Salesforce.com.

After months of teasing SAP watchers at numerous trade shows with screen shots and little else, SAP today revealed A1S would be "closer" to SAP's existing All-In-One suite, rather than Business One or SAP CRM ondemand.

A1S will target companies with 50-500 users with customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management and product lifecycle management. A proper name will be announced during the next few months.

SAP will sell A1S using a "multi-channel, hybrid approach", with partners encouraged to customize the software for vertical and geographic markets. The software vendor expects A1S help it hit the goal of 100,000 customers by 2010 – up from 40,000 today.

And that's all you're getting: SAP is playing its cards very close to its chest.

Speaking today at the opening of a co-innovation lab at the company's Palo Alto, California, campus, chief exec Henning Kagermann took great pains to differentiate A1S from Salesforce.com. Salesforce has set the agenda for on-demand business applications, thanks to the success of its CRM suite.

"You can't compare what Salesforce is doing with A1S. Salesforce is a piece of an on-demand suite," told press, partners and bloggers. "A1S is a complete suite."

He repeated SAP's official party line - that it is taking a mixed approach and not relying purely on software as a service (SaaS). "I don't believe that software as a service is the ultimate answer. The answer is choice for the customer, which means you need a hybrid model... let them pick which [part] they want to run as a service."

According to SAP, 65 per cent of its customers are small and mid-market users, with A1S targeting the "low-end". SAP thinks it can stratify its offering by offering Business One to companies with fewer than 50 users, All In One to those with between 500 and 1,000, and the full SAP suite for those with 1,000-plus users. No mention was made of CRM ondemand.

SAP's stance on multi-channel delivery seems designed to reassure partners that on-deman, won't be cut out of the loop, by allowing SAP to sell direct to the customer. Steve Ballmer, CEO of SAP’s partner and some-time rival Microsoft, has been candid that his company’s planned move into ondemand with Dynamics CRM Live would, harm Microsoft partners.

"Our go-to-market will cover all possible capabilities," SAP deputy CEO Leo Apotheker said. "I insist on it because not all markets are equal. What works in northern California might not work well in Bavaria or southern California. We have no intention of leaving anyone on the wayside. We want to give customers as much choice as possible." He called A1S a "whole new business model" for SAP. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.