Judging by the content of the presentations and the excitement of the partner community gathered at this year’s SAP Business One APJ Innovation Summit staged in Phuket, the future looks bright for small-to-medium enterprises running SAP, as Patrick Saundry explains.
Over the course of four days, SAP laid out its product roadmap for SAP Business One and it is safe to say there is plenty of functional innovation on the horizon to help simplify business. This will satisfy those enterprises who have already invested in the integrated management platform, and offers some appealing prospects for growing businesses about to begin the software consideration process prior to implementing their first ERP system.
For me, the key highlights of the Summit centred on the HANA product roadmap, and the ongoing efforts to integrate mobility and analytics into the core SAP offering.
It is amazing how quickly technology advances. It seems only yesterday that HANA was touted as the next big thing and now it is core to SAP’s ERP technology. The appetite amongst SMEs for the in-memory data platform version of SAP Business One is extremely strong. It is not an exaggeration to say it is becoming the logical choice for first time SAP users. Certainly at UXC Oxygen we recommend – and then do everything possible to help customers adopt – the HANA enabled version of the software. It is a true futureproof choice for those businesses experiencing rapid change or growth, and who need a real time information platform to inform their long-term and day-to-day business decision-making.
SAP continues its tight focus on integrating mobile-ready processes into the Business One ERP solution. The arrival of the HANA services layer means web, mobile, and in-browser functions can be developed within the same environment as the core SAP system, sitting neatly and securely within the primary processes of the software. This is great news for customers as it gives them more flexibility to integrate SAP Business One with industry specific applications where their market demands it. It also offers the opportunity for customers to remove third party software integrations that are cumbersome and adopt more streamlined and end-user friendly processes.
The fruits of SAP’s 2007 purchase of BusinessObjects is now fully apparent in the Business One software. The heritage of that business intelligence platform is now built into the solution with native analytical capabilities seeded throughout the various software applications. For many customers the HANA-enabled SAP Business One suite will mitigate the need to integrate any further business intelligence tools. The speed of query and analysis capabilities of the in-memory database provides customers with plenty of firepower when it comes to helping business users access the information they need to do their job. And, that is the direction that SAP’s innovation is taking – helping improve the end user experience. Humanising the ERP system is SAP’s prime directive, one which aims to ensure all business stakeholders can interact easily with the system – and with each other – wherever and whenever they want to.
Patrick Saundry is head of small and midsized solutions, UXC Oxygen, a CSC company. If you would like further detail about the information presented at the SAP Business APJ Summit, contact Patrick at email@example.com.