SAP executives at first brushed off the idea of an on-demand model for small and midsized businesses (SMBs). But SAP CEO Henning Kagermann told financial analysts earlier this year that the recent success of SalesForce.com and NetSuite Inc. caused SAP researchers to focus on an on-demand model for SMBs.
Agassi said the focus will be on simplicity for small businesses, and a resulting product would be different from the on-demand products currently on the market.
"We believe the issue is about simple products with a simple way to ramp up into the product, with the need for it to still be integrated into backbone systems and the ability to actually take it anywhere you want to go to," he said. "It [asks] a much more complicated set of questions than just do I have my data on my data center or some other data center."
SAP could be timing its on-demand release with Microsoft, which is planning on-demand products by making the applications support Web services and service-oriented architectures (SOAs) and adapt to customer-specific processes, said Sanjeev Aggarwal, a senior analyst at Boston-based Yankee Group, in a recent research brief to clients titled, "Appeal for On-Demand Solutions Is Expanding."
SAP is also planning a model that could be aimed at small independent software vendors, according to Klaus Kreplin, a member of the SAP extended executive board, who focuses on NetWeaver development. In his briefing to industry analysts, Kreplin said up to 90% of ISVs are small businesses and they don't have the systems to support major development on NetWeaver.
"We want to provide a hosted sandbox development system for ISVs," he said.
Kreplin called the new system the "mySAP Sandbox," and said it would support ISVs by providing the tools necessary via the Web to test modifications in a real-world environment. The development could speed new NetWeaver development from SAP partners and boost the time it takes to bring new products to market, he said.
The sandbox could be used to build composite applications, called xApps, which draw data from several sources to solve a specific business problem.
This article originally appeared on SearchSAP.com.