OVUM. David Bradshaw
SAP hasn't said when the product will be available to customers, but what it usually does with major new products is an 'on ramp' approach where it gradually makes it available to a wider and wider audience. It is encouraging partners to get started on upgrading to the new version so that they can produce their solutions.
Upgrading this product to the latest versions of the ERP is really a no-brainer, and perhaps the only surprise is that it's taken a while from the introduction of mySAP ERP 2005 to it being incorporated into All-in-One. One reason for this is, we believe, that SAP is stepping up its commitment to the All-in-One product line, which formerly was more than a marketing bundle than a product in its own right.
This is a crucial product upgrade for SAP because the 'mid-market' (in SAP parlance, companies from 100 to 2,500 employees, or revenues of $50 million to $1 billion) is an increasingly important part of its business. Its plans for the second half of the decade call for an even greater share of its revenue to come from this sector by 2010. This is crucial for SAP to meet its overall revenue growth targets.
Key to success here is getting the partner network on board and moving their own solutions to the new version. SAP is rightly putting a lot of effort into this, offering additional incentives for partners to get their developers and other staff trained on the new version. SAP anticipates partners will provide an ever-widening range of highly-specific 'micro vertical' solutions that will be closely targeted on the specific needs of customers. These save implementation effort, time and money for customers, making them more attractive than implementations that start with the 'vanilla' of All-in-One as a basis for customisation. However, partners will also want to tap into what could be a very substantial seam of upgrade revenues from existing customers.
One decision we are not sure is entirely wise is the 'simplified' CRM capabilities. Businesses of the size that SAP is targeting with All-in-One can have sophisticated CRM requirements. If All-in-One doesn't meet their needs it will not be adopted (at least for CRM) by them.
Finally, this is not the same product as the SaaS-capable 'business process engine in a box' that SAP showed us in December (see Euroview Daily, 6 December). On the conference call, SAP would not be drawn on the relationship between the two, saying that there would be further announcements throughout the year as it builds out further functionality for All-in-One.
We think that SAP could capture a larger share of the market by offering two contrasting products from the same code base: the version described above where the emphasis is on getting the capabilities you need more or less out of the box via partners' solutions, and the business process engine that is highly configurable and flexible, for customers who want to set their processes up themselves.