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SAPHosting Supports Any (and Every) Stage of an Application's Lifecycle with Seven Hosting Models

by Tom Melchiore | SAPinsider

October 1, 2000

by Tom Melchiore, SAP Hosting SAPinsider - 2000 (Volume 1), October (Issue 2)
 

Tapping into the infrastructure and expertise of an application service provider (ASP) helps you sidestep the Web’s barriers to entry, heavy startup costs, or the necessity for an in-place Web-savvy IT team. Solutions are deployed more quickly, cost of ownership goes down, and the ASP manages performance and reliability issues. This article describes SAP’s hosting offerings, its seven hosting models, and its global network of partners.

We at SAP know there are a lot of companies out there, small and large alike, that are anxious to seize the benefits of fully outsourced applications. Tapping into the infrastructure and expertise of an application service provider (ASP) helps you sidestep the Web's barriers to entry. You don't have to contend with heavy startup costs or have to have an in-place Web-savvy IT team. Solutions get deployed more quickly. Integration, reliability, and performance issues are managed by the ASP. Cost of ownership goes down, and even becomes predictable, given per-user/per-month fees.

    How did we respond to the burgeoning market demand for hosted applications? With SAPHosting. It is through this new organization that SAP and SAP-certified partners are now hosting mySAP.com business solutions, from configuration and implementation through operation and support. Together SAP and certified partners provide mySAP.com business solutions, and these solutions are fully supported by the SAPHosting initiative.

A Global Network of Partners Provides Best-in-Class Business Solutions and Services

Through the hosting partners' service management centers, customers gain access to the latest hardware technology and industry expertise. SAP and its partners handle everything from the setup, operation, and maintenance of the system infrastructure, to sizing the system and selecting the correct hardware and database options. Monitoring, reporting, and support for ongoing upgrades and daily operations are also offered, with full 24x365 support of a customer's solution.

Participating SAPHosting partners include:

  • Applicast n Corio, Inc.
  • EdgeWing
  • EDS
  • eOnline
  • FiNetrics
  • HostLogic
  • The Hunter Group
  • Interpath Communications
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Qwest Cyber.Solutions
  • Siemens Business Services

Many Factors Distinguish SAPHosting Offerings from All the Rest

First, SAPHosting is vertically focused, incorporating industry-oriented partnerships along with industry- and product-specific solutions. Hosting solutions are tailored for each SAP industry sector and for all products within mySAP.com. This vertical approach to hosting reduces the cost and risk associated with implementing complex solutions.

     We, along with our partners, also offer an array of hosting models designed to support any size enterprise at any stage of a business lifecycle. SAPHosting and its partners support customers through the entire select- and-deploy lifecycle: from evaluation, implementation, and operation through continuous improvement.

     (The table to the right details the seven specific hosting models offered by SAPHosting.)

     We also offer a thorough partner certification process with strict standards to assure customers receive world-class technology, talent, and service. When combined with SAP's expertise in bundled vertical industry solutions, including the SAP Best Practices approach, our customers can expect high-quality solutions and services that capitalize on the expertise of SAP and its partners.

Select-and-Deploy Hosting Services

With our new services, businesses also have the flexibility to evaluate and compose company-specific solutions over the Internet before they purchase. They can even define how the SAPHosting solution will be delivered and kept up-to-date. We offer this through our "Select-and-Deploy" Web-based services:

  • Test-Drive Your Solution Online - allows testing and evaluation of SAP solutions online.

  • Compose Your Solution Online - helps in sele cting the SAP solution that best matches the company's requirements.

  • Implement Your Solution Online - allows SAPHosting to install and configure the company's solution at the SAPHosting data center, providing full access to the solution via the Internet.

  • Host Your Solution - frees the company from maintaining its data system by installing the system with SAPHosting or at a partner's data site, where responsibility is assumed for operating and maintaining all or portions of the solution.

     This approach is designed to accelerate time-to-market and reduce costs. The hosting provider handles the technical configuration. What's more, there is no overhead for knowledge transfer, since the hosting provider is present throughout the process.

SAPHosting's Seven Hosting Models
Implementation Hosting This new model includes hosting the systems needed for ASAP implementations: development, QA, and testing. Implementation hosting offers an interim hosting solution, providing faster implementation while allowing customers time to solidify their longer-term strategy for technology deployment.
Marketplace Hosting SAPHosting and its partners can host an enterprise's entire marketplace or business communities, along with it's individual partners, customers, and vendors. This offers a unique platform for business-to-business processes and collaboration, as well as for business-to-consumer transactions.
Application Service Provider (ASP) An application service provider model combines software, implementation, infrastructure, service, and support for rapidly deployable solutions - priced per-user, per-month - that give customers the option of one-stop shopping. This is a one-to-many model with little custom configuration, and the customer does not own the license.
Application Hosting If a customer's hosting requirements go beyond the predefined scope of ASP-oriented one-stop shopping, Application Hosting allows for a more customized solution tailored to each specific business. Here, customers benefit significantly from decreased implementation costs and predictable ongoing expenses.
Application Management(AM) Application Management provides trained personnel and tools to maintain applications processing, which frees the customer to concentrate on core business processes without having to invest additional time and money to operate the SAP system.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) The BPO hosting service supports the performance of all (or a major portion of) an entire business function or process by a certified partner, using SAP applications to power the operation.
Hosted Learning Hosted Learning provides companies with access to the SAP Knowledge Warehouse in a hosted environment. Customers can use the repository of training materials to formulate and deploy in-house training, which can ultimately lead to cost savings.

But the Bottom Line Is Trust

While hosted solutions offer companies many sound benefits, in the end, customers have to feel confident about the results. They need to feel that the system will be optimized for their business and run by a team of experts. The SAPHosting certification process - where partners and solutions must meet SAP standards, arguably the most rigorous in the industry, in order to participate - delivers that guarantee.

Wide-Ranging Customer Base for Hosted Solutions

Our target audience really has no parameters. That's one of the most unique features of our program. We have solutions that cater to companies of all sizes, in any industry. To date we have over 22,000 users and more than 70 customers - including small, medium, and large companies.

     As an example, I'll point to TechSmart, which went with SAPHosting based on three factors: higher speed, lower cost, and reduced risk. The SAPHosting solution was faster; in fact, just doing the proper capacity planning, hardware procurement, and hardware configuration alone (not to mention negotiations with the vendor) could have taken months without an ASP. It was less costly and less risky when you consider the personnel that TechSmart would have had to attract, hire, and retain. Plus, there would have been all the other source-loaded costs related to operations, building the proper data center with the appropriate backup and recovery, and the proper coverage, support, disaster recovery, and business resumption spending.

     Going with an ASP was also less risky for TechSmart because eOnline, the certified partner hosting the applications, absorbed some of the risk in terms of technology investment by making sure that proper upgrades are made to the hardware systems and to the software. In this scenario, the ASP is also accountable for ongoing training and career development of the staff, which represents another cost factor.

     Streamline.com also decided to go with an SAPHosting solution. They chose Siemens Business Services as their SAPHosting certified ASP because they needed a highly redundant and fault-tolerant environment. This environment hosts all the company's R/3 components (Inventory Management, Sales and Distribution, Financial Accounting, Warehouse Management), plus mySAP.com, SAP Business Intelligence Warehouse (SAP BW), and the SAP Online Store.

     Streamline.com chose an ASP because IT resources are hard to come by and tougher to retain. The company would have needed highly skilled people to handle even its basic needs, and Siemens - with five data centers in North America that support the ASP model, and as a provider of SAP hosting services to more than 100 companies - had both the technology and experience that Streamline.com was looking for. By going with an ASP, Streamline.com got the "best of the best" in the best environment to meet its needs and, in the process, actually saved money. Managing the labor component solved the issue of recruiting, retaining, and providing ongoing training.

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