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SaaS? What’s all the fuss?

by Marcy Rizzo

June 1, 2010

By Marcy Rizzo

The 2010 SAP Procurement and Materials Management Conference (co-located with Logistics and SCM, PLM and Manufacturing Conferences), introduced the newest ways SAP is leveraging Software-as-a Service (SaaS) to increase sourcing and procurement efficiencies, improve supplier collaboration, and streamline indirect, direct and services spend.

At SAP Insider, the late spring marks the time of year that market research is conducted, as we develop the conference content for the 2011 events. So far, it is clear from the customer community that the trend is continuing, and gaining widespread adoption in enterprises invested in SAP. I’ve included a few links to articles that delve into the history of SaaS emergence; originally deployed for sales force automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The information covers how the “pay-as-go” subscription model is being viewed and implemented by customers, as well as how SAP considers Saas, also called “software on demand.”

Supply Chain Digest recently published a useful article on Software as a Service, and I&rsqu o;ve copied the link to a commentary submitted by Greg Johnsen, from GT Nexus, as part of the Digest’s Expert Insight: On Demand Software Series: Ushering in the 2nd Generation of SaaS, below:
May 12, 2010 
Supply Chain Comment: Ushering In The 2nd Generation of SaaS: A New Wave Of Web-Based Technology For The Supply Chain

 To gain further insights into how enterprise software decision-makers are including SaaS as part of their investment strategy for 2010, Forrester recently conducted more than 1,000 interviews. It is clear that SaaS in growing in popularity, as the technology matures. Organizations are solutions that allow them to conserve cash, deploy quickly, and collaborate outside the 4-walls of their enterprise; securely, and with transparency.  Forrester reports that While SaaS, and cloud offer many benefits and have made significant progress from earlier days where customization and integration options were minimal, they also create new risks and challenges — in areas such as security, i ntegration, and governance.

 So how is SAP handling the “delicate balancing act of introducing the new without breaking what customers already have installed?” This quote, and other insights are provided in an article published last February by Phil Wainewright, a thought leader in cloud computing, analyst and consultant offers interesting insights. See the link below:
SAP's Vishal Sikka on SaaS
By Phil Wainewright | February 16, 2010 Wainewright concludes his article with the provocative question: “Can the company’s technology and product strategy offer enough flexibility to satisfy the innovators as well as the conservatives? Time will tell, but it’s a tough problem to fix.”

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