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SAP kicks on-demand suite into 2010?

Just forget about it, please

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SAP has kicked the date for the on-demand version of its business applications further into the future.

The president of SAP's global field operations Bill McDermott has reportedly said that its hosted Business ByDesign suite might not be ready until 2010.

McDermott is reported to have said the "noise level" around Business ByDesign will increase in the latter part of this year or 2010. "We want to get [Business ByDesign] just right," he said.

Business ByDesign was unveiled in September 2007, and in April 2008, the company postponed the rollout by 18 months as profits from its traditional business dropped.

According to that time line, you should expect full availability of the service by October this year. SAP's annual SAPPHIRE conference takes place next week, which would have been an ideal venue for getting partners and customers up to speed it. But it seems there are few sessions on Business ByDesign. Having missed this window, it would seem reasonable to now not expect Business ByDesign until at least Spring 2010 at the next SAPPHIRE.

It's the latest delay to a suite of products SAP would really rather see people forget about. At least, it seems that way. On-demand applications pose a potential challenge to SAP's existing on-premise set of line-of-business applications.

The company has talked big on Business ByDesign. Chief executive Henning Kagermann in 2007 called Business ByDesign "the most important announcement" of his career and "not just a new product...it's much more. It's a new era for us".

He'd promised SAP would set a new standard in business software for mid-size companies and change the on-demand market place. ®

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