SAP had to learn a lot about on-demand services to perfect its Business ByDesign offering, says Jim Hagermann Snabe, co-chief executive at SAP.
"Building world-class, end-to-end software is not a simple task and requires lots of [customer] input," he told attendees of the 2010 Sapphire Now conference.
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The annual SAP customer event is taking place from 17-19 May simultaneously in Frankfurt, Germany, and Orlando, Florida in the US.
"I wanted Business ByDesign to be perfect from an infrastructure and delivery point of view before we rolled it out in volume," he said.
Snabe said developing something that required no hardware or software installed on premises was not easy and involved a steep learning curve for SAP.
"But I now feel confident SAP is capable of delivering the next version of Business ByDesign and that it is at the level of perfection where we need it to be," he said.
The transition to on-demand services for core business processes will be gradual, said Johan du Plessis, chief information officer at Consol Glass, South Africa.
Technology is no longer a barrier, but trust is still an issue and it will take time to get board approval for using on-demand for critical or sensitive processes, he said.
This confirms SAP's strategy of backing an integrated hybrid approach, said Snabe.
"We are committed to enabling hybrid implementations by ensuring the end-to-end process across on-premise and on-demand elements works consistently," he said.
SAP has built Business ByDesign to enable integration by design rather than being done through layers of middleware, said Snabe.