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SAP unveils more details surrounding cloud

by Test Test

November 15, 2012

by Rizal Ahmed

After spending billions of dollars snapping up cloud vendors SuccessFactors and Ariba, SAP is going public with its plans for incorporating these companies and solutions into an integrated strategy.

In his keynote at SAPPHIRE/TechEd Madrid, Jim Hagemann Snabe talked about keeping your core processes that differentiate your business within your on-premise system of record, but placing other more commoditized processes in cloud-based solutions.

He laid out SAP's cloud strategy that will focus on employees,  partners, money, and customers. For those of you playing at home, if you matched SuccessFactors with employees, Ariba with partners,  you've won.  The money piece is derived form SAP's travel and expense on-demand solution as well as a newly announced financial services network. 

Snabe shared the stage with Tim Minahan, the chief marketing officer for Ariba. Minahan says  its supplier network connects  than 1 million companies to the enterprise. Minahan also highlighted Caterpillar, an SAP and Ariba customer that now handles 98% of its invoices electronically without manual intervention.

Snabe also officially unveiled SAP 360 for the customer, establishing the final piece of the cloud puzzle. This new cloud-based solution builds on the sales on-demand offering and is part of a complete repositioning of SAP CRM, a topic I will be blogging on later this week. 

SAP reports to have over 17 million customers using SAP in the cloud. Undoubtedly, many of these users are coming straight from the acquisitions of SuccessFactors and Ariba. They need to present an comprehensive and integrated story to customers, and this was an initial start.

You can't swing a stick here at SAPPHIRE/TechEd Madrid without hitting someone from SAP or the partner community talking about cloud. With the speed of networks, the advances in security, using the cloud makes a lot of sense. You save time, resources, and headaches turning certain processes and systems over to a third party. The trick comes with integration and maintenance.

How do you know if cloud is right for you?

What steps can you start to take to migrate to the cloud?

What integration challenges can you expect to face, and how should you prepare to overcome them?

These are the questions I will continue to explore while here.  If you have any insights to share on them,  I would love to hear from you. 

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