No SAP Business ByDesign in Middle East until 2009

SAP gradual roll out of new ERP on demand solution will mean no regional offering until 2009

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By  Mark Sutton Published  September 28, 2007

SAP has confirmed that it does not plan to offer its Business ByDesign solution in the Middle East until sometime in 2009.

The service, which launched in the US and Germany last week, is intended as an ERP Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for small to medium enterprises.

The company is aiming for a gradual roll out of the service, to ensure that support and services are in place. SAP has said that it plans to invest Euros 300-400 million ($425m - $566m) in the service by the end of 2008.

Sergio Maccotta, managing director of the newly formed SAP Middle East & North Africa told "What we are doing with Business ByDesign is to build up number of reference sites, by the end of next year we aim to jump from hundreds to thousands of live reference sites - we have to make sure we have it right."

SAP sees growing demand from the SME segment in the Middle East, according to Maccotta, but the company would continue to offer existing solutions such as BusinessOne and Business All In One to that market.

The company would also look to put more vertical channel partners in place to handle Business ByDesign. SAP recently acquired long-time partner SAP Arabia to improve its operations in the Middle East.

"The key point here is to create the channel. The channel must be vertically aligned and have an understanding of their market sector and we also have solutions that deal with their market sector," Maccotta added.

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