One of the more interesting questions during last week’s “Does IT Matter” forum in Boston came from AMR Research’s Bruce Richardson, who asked the panelists if they had a half an hour with SAP’s North American president Rob Enslin, what product or service would they ask for to make life easier?
Day & Zimmermann’s Anthony Bosco Jr. said he wanted more robust workforce planning capabilities. Raytheon’s Lesley Dickie said she needed a quicker turnaround on product development for her industry.
“I believe we still end up customizing and filling the gaps on our own,” she said.
Thomas Doyle of GT Solar, which manufactures materials used to make solar cells and panels, said he’d like more SaaS applications. It’s a way for his business to achieve a smaller application footprint, he said. He could envision launching applications such as human resources in this manner.
Doyle’s response was perhaps a signal that SAP’s approach to on-demand applications for the big guys may need to trickle down to the smaller ones too. GT Solar is an SAP Business All-in-One customer, SAP’s on-premise ERP for the midmarket.
A few months ago, SAP said it would develop on-demand applications for large enterprises that would integrate with and extend functionality in the on-premise SAP Business Suite.
And in the past few weeks, it’s been pushing SAP Business ByDesign - its SaaS ERP for the midmarket — highlighting an upgrade and some Web services integration that the 80 or so pilot customers are trying out.
But what’s SAP’s strategy for selling applications like HR, or line-of-business apps, to small and midsized companies? It seems to be companies like GT Solar will fall in the middle, leaving even more targets for companies like Salesforce.com, Workday and SuccessFactors.
What do you think? And what product or service from SAP would make your life easier?