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SAP to take another shot at software-as-a-service

Warwick Ashford

SAP is expected to announce plans today to integrate its online services more closely with its traditional software business.

The plans will be unveiled at a conference in the Netherlands by John Wookey, SAP's executive vice-president in charge of on-demand services, according to the Financial Times.

The initiative, which targets SAP's large customers, will mark the German enterprise software company's second attempt at providing software-as-a-service (SaaS).

SAP's first attempts at SaaS with a service for salespeople to manage customer relationships and its Business By Design online applications for medium-sized companies, have failed to gain momentum.

This has forced SAP back to the drawing board to plan a new approach that is expected to be a hybrid model that will attempt to take advantage of the big installed base of SAP's business applications.

Ahead of today's announcement, Wookey has indicated that the new approach will allow customers to mix online services and traditional software without splitting a company's data into different systems.

But the online applications will do things that SAP's core software does not and will automatically integrate with SAP software that customers run on their own in-house systems, according the Wall Street Journal.

The first online application, due for release in the third quarter of the year, will be aimed at helping businesses with sourcing. This will be followed by customer and expense management applications.

Wookey has also indicated that SAP could eventually open up its technology to allow other developers to build on-demand services that would tie into its software.


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