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SAP Business ByDesign Software Review


SaaS Delivery and ERP Software Pricing

Data Center Hosting and SLA

SAP hosts Business ByDesign from its own data centers in Walldorf, Germany and Newton Square, Pennsylvania. The particular data center for each customer is based on proximity and the two geographically dispersed data centers are not configured in an active/active replication mode for real-time fail-over.

SAP suggests its data centers are Tier IV facilities with equipment and telecom redundancy, inline high availability fail-over, multiple Internet connectivity points and POPs, and third party SAS 70 (now SSAE 16) and ISO 27001 annual audits and attestations.

Although the SAP data centers appear reasonable, they don't appear to match the rigor or investment of some other SaaS ERP and CRM competitors. Service Level Agreements (SLA) are also noticeably lacking, online hosting status and performance visibility (now common among SaaS competitors) is absent and there is conspicuously little information available about data center operations. SAP customers have additional data center and hosting options if they elect to go through business partners. For example, Verizon completed a business partnership with SAP in early 2011, and HP will host on-demand applications from its Enterprise Services data centers.

Third party ByDesign hosting is something we'll likely see more of in 2012 and beyond—tapping into SAPs global hosting partner program for multinationals. Partners at this level include global companies that provide comprehensive service offerings to global customers and operation capabilities with local market coverage. SAP has over 180 hosting partners worldwide and we expect many to offer ByDesign hosting when permitted.

Business ByDesign Software Pricing

Flexible pricing models are available according to the complexity of the solution selected. Pricing from ByDesign reseller partners may vary slightly, but most pricing is categorized by three user levels:

  • Self-service users: employees who don't use core ERP functionality but who access self-service functions incidental to their work, such as purchasing, travel and expenses, and human resources.

  • Team users: staff who need access to only one ERP business area, such as sales force automation or basic reporting, to do their jobs.

  • Enterprise users: staff who access core functionality across multiple business areas, such as HR, financial management, and CRM. A minimum of 10 enterprise users is needed to qualify for this pricing category.

Smaller enterprises might be able to use SAP Business ByDesign, as user counts for self-service users have dipped to as low as 10. A minimum of 10 users are needed to qualify for the team user and enterprise versions. Based on these categorizations, SAP pricing can quickly become complex and start adding up for smaller companies. Below is a chart that outlines Business ByDesign's basic pricing structures.

Self Service
Team User
Enterprise User
CRM Sales

Subscription prices are per user per month and listed in US Dollars.

Deployment Considerations

Since there are limited ByDesign certification partners at this point, organizations looking for specific industry expertise may have difficulty sourcing local support and partners. Many vertical-specific specializations have not been built yet, so organizations need to understand their business processes from start to finish in order to determine whether the configuration and business agility of the ERP system will accommodate business requirements. As the amount of certified ByDesign partners grow new functionalities and add-ons will be added to the ecosystem to further software fit and collaboration within the SAP community.

For smaller organizations, it is recommended to implement the vanilla "off-the-shelf" solution, as PaaS and customization tools are still young and expanding. Smaller organizations might find it difficult and costly to hire a programmer for customization purposes, and this would materially increase total cost of ownership (TCO) and extend ROI timeframe.

For medium-size and larger organizations that are looking for a cloud solution to employ a two-tier ERP strategy, SAP Business ByDesign might be a good fit. Numerous multinationals use the cloud version because it is capable of many of the same advanced financial capabilities—such as multi-company ledgers—that can easily be consolidated to the head office.

However, the SaaS ERP product is young and add-ons are few, so organizations need to pay close attention to what functionality is included in the base suite. Still, ByDesign remains a good ERP solution compared to many other SaaS options.

Next - SAP Business ByDesign Strengths and Weaknesses >>

SAP Business ByDesign ReviewSAP ByDesign ERP ReviewSAP ByDesign CapabilitiesSAP ByDesign Technology ReviewSAP Business ByDesign PricingSAP ByDesign Strengths & WeaknessesSAP Business ByDesign Competitors


SAP Business ByDesign



SAP Business ByDesign Review



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