Later this month SAP plans to announce enhancements to its Business ByDesign platform for ERP cloud computing. The SAP Business ByDesign platform was introduced to address SAP customer requirements for its Software as a Service (SaaS) model product line. Since that time, many processes have been enabled by the Business ByDesign platform as well as specific on-demand applications that are based on a “pay for use” hosted cloud computing model.
The current Business ByDesign capabilities include a role-based ERP environment that can capture Order to Cash (O2C), Procure to Pay (P2P), logistics, supply chain and financial processes. Users navigate through the use of workspaces. These contain page forms that access, present and store information through the various process steps.
In addition, the home workspace provides email, tasks, notifications, news feeds and other mashups (browser-based content added to enhance a function or provide reference information). There is no use of traditional SAP Business Suite transaction codes, so users don’t need to know what V01 or V05 might or might not do in the sales order process (extra credit for those readers who do).
SAP Business ByDesign versions for different platforms
The PC-based version of Feature Pack 3.0 (FP3) eliminates the existing workspace navigation in deference to the black and “SAP orange” GUI format that Sales OnDemand and Carbon Impact OnDemand applications currently use. Given the move to this format on a broad scale, users may find that they are literally “floating” between different process steps, not realizing that they have actually left the application much like EPM10, released earlier this year.
Mobile platform users, particularly those on the iPad, have been relegated to using a slimmed-down version of Business ByDesign. In addition, iPad users have been frustrated by the need to use the iPhone application, since the iPad version did not fully render when the current SAP Business ByDesign application was released.
With FP3, iPad users have a fully rendered page display for graphing and charting in Business ByDesign. Users can create, save and share pages, and then rip them from the display stack.
Although iPad and iPhone platform users still need to contend with the absence of Flash and Silverlight in FP3, this is a top issue for the Business ByDesign team, according to one project manager, and it will be addressed in future updates. Until Apple changes its position on allowing these plug-ins, SAP will be required to provide workarounds to the applications.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William Newmanis managing principal of Newport Consulting Group, an independent management and technology consulting firm based in Clarkston, Mich. Contact him via email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter (william_newman).