SAP Ventures Into SaaS
Get ready for acronym soup: SAP is venturing
into the realm of SaaS
. The renowned enterprise software vendor is making
its first line of business management tools available over the Web, thereby
staking a huge claim on the relatively nascent area of software as a service.
While SaaS has been around for a while, it's always been dominated by smaller
players, especially Salesforce.com. SAP is the first enterprise-class vendor
to step in -- although Microsoft has announced its Software Plus Services initiative.
More on that once someone can actually explain it to us.
SAP's first strike into SaaS is a management tool targeted toward medium-sized
businesses. Code-named A1S, it was unveiled in New York earlier this week. SAP
says nearly 100 companies have taken A1S out for a test drive. It also says
it's prepared to invest as much as $500 million on final development and testing
by the end of 2008, although the product should be available in a full release
version by the first quarter of next year.
By jumping into the world of Web-based applications, SAP positions itself against
Microsoft and Google, which recently put out its own family of online apps.
The Google apps are more for personal and office productivity, while the SAP
tools are for larger business management functions, so they probably won't be
stepping on each other's toes too much.
How do you feel about SaaS? Are you heading toward a hosted world? Have you
dabbled in SaaS, dove right in or left it alone? Let me know at [email protected].
Posted by Lafe Low on September 19, 2007