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SAP Business ByDesign grows, but slowly

16th Nov 2011
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SAP reports that its Cloud-based Business ByDesign ERP system is slowly gaining traction with mid-market customers, but is being hampered by the need to localise the software for different jurisdictions.

According to, SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe recently claimed that Business ByDesign has 700 customers worldwide, but that the roll out is limited to around 10 countries.

Localisation is holding up the expansion programme, he admitted. “Localisation is not just about languages, it's about making sure you apply to all the legal requirements of each country. Sometimes that's easy, other times it is complicated,” he said.

The company is looking at an accelerated programme to push Business ByDesign into the bigger marketplace currently being served by NetSuite and mid-market ERP software companies

Techmarketview analyst Angela Eager pointed out that the legal complications and local requirements required for international financial applications posed a significant challenge for Cloud software developers.

“If resource-rich SAP has challenges delivering widespread localised versions, the cost and effort may be beyond smaller specialist Cloud pure-plays,” she said. “SaaS works for many applications but maybe not for all – while there is little question about the suitability of the technology, it is the economic model that is proving testing and will determine what is offered and where. ”

A recent study by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group revealed that a majority (58%) of respondents said that their Cloud adoption was being slowed by a lack of clarity over SAP's product roadmap, while 27% did not know what SAP's cloud offerings were and the benefits they give.

AccountingWEB is currently taking a detailed look at some of the new Cloud offerings for mid-market organisations. AccountsIQ was reviewed by Nigel Harris this week, and SAP Business ByDesign will be the next product to be reviewed.


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