May 15, 2012 -- SAP today announced what it calls an “accelerated” cloud strategy and solutions for finance, HR, customer management and procurement. The news came at the annual SAPPHIRE user conference in Orlando.
The products are all provided in a loosely coupled multitenant environment that integrates to SAP’s core enterprise resource planning software to manage people, money, customers and suppliers.
An all new cloud-based general ledger and financial accounting solution, SAP Financials OnDemand, is targeted at enterprise class customers for core financials as well as order-to-cash and invoice to pay processes.
Forrester VP and principal analyst Paul Hamerman says the solution is notable as being the first attempt by SAP to deliver a financial platform in a mostly underpenetrated line of business where downstream providers like NetSuite and FinancialForce have worked.
“I can see a potentially significant demand for a financial accounting system in the cloud that can scale up to large multinational type companies,” Hamerman says. “Their plan is to deliver this later in the year but it’s significant for a relatively new area to position cloud where the adoption curve is well behind HCM and CRM.”
SAP has gotten a leg up in the human resource and talent management cloud space already with its acquisition of SuccessFactors and core HR solution Employee Central. SAP is planning a global rollout of the product to 10 countries with strategic partners located accordingly.
SAP is planning to deliver a core HR system of record versus competing cloud HR products that have focused specifically on recruitment and talent management. That would position SAP against both payroll and talent service providers such as ADP, Ceridian and Workday.
Says Hamerman, “A lot of what SAP is doing with their HCM offering is hearing Workday’s footsteps. They want to offer a comprehensive HR solution to enterprise class customers, so building out Employee Central is a significant part of that strategy.”
The SAP Sales OnDemand solution updates an existing SFA offering with new marketing and social selling, configuration and customization along with integrated access to SAP’s on-premise CRM suite. A Social Customer Engagement OnDemand service extends a multichannel approach beyond the contact center to give better customer engagement.
SAP Sourcing OnDemand is another solution update that offers procure-to-pay services and integrates with the SAP Business Suite and networked invoice management and information exchange between parties.
SAP says all of the solutions will have a mobility and social media component and will be bolstered by analytics and the HANA appliance software and in-memory data processing.
The company will continue to offer integrated suites of cloud services for midmarket customers with its SAP BusinessByDesign services through resellers and SAP Business One for smaller customers.