Ramping Up Around Business ByDesign

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2008-04-03 Print this article Print


But at the same time SAP is ramping up its selling capabilities around Business ByDesign, which is still in controlled release at this point. In addition, the lead developer on the project is leaving. As SAP announced its co-CEO plans April 2, officials also announced that Executive Board member Peter Zencke will not renew his contract when it expires at the end of this year.

Zencke will, however, maintain a consultancy role with SAP for the following year.

There are conflicting reports as to who will take over the development of Business ByDesign. Some industry watchers point to Jim Hagemann Snabe, who on April 2 was promoted to the head of research and development for the Business Suite-ERP 2006-and the NetWeaver platform.

"Having Snabe in charge speaks to his ability to succeed on the industry solutions aspect [of SAP's strategy] and to some disappointment in Peter Zencke's progress on new areas of R&D including Business ByDesign," wrote Forrester analyst Ray Wang, in an e-mail to eWEEK.

"What's interesting is the expansion of more non-Germans to the overall board, reflecting SAP's global presence. The new COO [chief operating officer] appointment is significant as SAP is trying to raise margins and there are many process efficiencies to address-from R&D as well as other ways to better deliver on customer service and other touch points more effectively."

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Others suggest that Executive Board member Gerhard Oswald and Global SME President Hans-Peter Klaey will take over development responsibility for Business ByDesign as Zencke transitions his roles at the company. (SAP's Global SME unit was developed in 2006 to oversee sales, marketing, operations and alignment of resources around the SMB market, according to the company's Web site.)

In a press conference April 2, Apotheker suggested that much of the engineering work around Business ByDesign-at least for the midmarket suite-is behind the company.

"It took massive engineering to deliver BBD; we are seeing the end of that effort," said Apotheker. "Now we want to balance more toward bringing it to customers. It might [seem] in the future that we are not focused on R&D-quite the contrary-but the percentage will not be as much."


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