After reports surfaced about the discontinuation of SAP Business ByDesign, the company confirmed it is “slowing development” of the cloud ERP product in favor of developing a cloud platform for SMEs.

Last week the German business weekly Wirtschaftswoche reported that SAP plans to stop development of Business ByDesign, stating that existing customers will be still able to continue using it. 

In a recent conversation, SAP AG cloud group senior vice president Rainer Zinow told Accounting Technology the company plans to release two more updates for Business ByDesign – one coming in the next few days, the next in February – before “scaling back” production and shipping updates on more of an “as needed” basis. Ultimately, SAP’s plan is to release a cloud platform in the next year or so, according to Zinow.

“We are not entirely giving up on ByDesign, that would be irresponsible, but we have the following situation: The market said we want you to build out a cloud platform we can build on and our task was to come back with a plan,” said Zinow. “We have the HANA application server and database and integration middleware and can build a new platform. We are going to keep a team focused on ByDesign needed for existing customers, but we reduced the development speed to invest resources in the underlying platform, whereby we use the HANA database and replace the existing use of Microsoft Silverlight with HTML 5.”

Zinow did not have an exact date of release for this new cloud platform, but said he hopes it will be within a year. He also reiterated SAP’s focus on cloud products, which has been their message for the past few years, and offered some predictions about the future of the PC and cloud in general.

“We believe the term ‘cloud computing’ ends in 2016, then it will just be ‘computing,’” said Zinow. “We feel in three to four years Gen Y will be more of the decision makers who are comfortable with cloud. We believe the last PC will be extinct by that time. That’s our prediction of the market.”

Meanwhile, in response to SAP’s decision, one of its primary competitors NetSuite has unveiled what it is calling the SAP Business ByDesign Sunset Migration Program, which is designed for companies running SAP Business ByDesign looking to switch off the product. NetSuite claims that under the Business ByDesign Sunset Migration Program, Business ByDesign customers in good standing are eligible for one free year of a NetSuite subscription and free data migration to speed their transition to the product.

 

 

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