SAP: Come to the cloud with us, we promise there's total accountability and lower TCO with lift-and-shift ERP package

SaaS pick 'n' mix might appeal more than standard processes for S/4HANA upgrade, though


SAP has launched a lift-and-shift-to-the-cloud service for customers' on-premises ERP systems, taking accountability for performance and promising lower costs.

The service is meant as a stepping stone for businesses onto more standardised processes, and, naturally, upgrading to SAP's S/4HANA ERP system. The move follows disappointing results at the ERP giant last year, when it realigned financial guidance in order to buy time to get more customers onto the cloud as traditional licence sales crashed.

Launched today, the "RISE with SAP" programme is the company's plan to get reluctant on-prem users to move onto the fluffy white stuff. The German vendor said it would work with big-name service partners to take a customer's existing ERP system into the cloud as it is, potentially with a hybrid public-private cloud. SAP would then be accountable for the support, management services, and infrastructure.

The next step in SAP's plans is to help "modernise and simplify the customer's software landscape". That means adopting SAP's "intelligent enterprise architecture", which means front-end customer experience and back end supplier management all coming together in-memory S/4HANA technology.

This is a migration many customers running older ERP iterations have been doggedly reluctant to take, not least because it requires the adoption of standardised processes and eschewing all those customisations that have built up over the years.

Speaking to The Register, Thomas Saueressig, who leads the SAP board in product engineering, said customers would be able to bring their on-prem licences and maintenance deals and have them accounted for in the same way that the software giant figures out its subscription fees.

And this is all in SAP's interest, of course. In October last year, announcing third-quarter results so abysmal they prompted a 25 per cent crash in SAP's stock market value, the company adjusted short-term revenue expectations for long-term cloud gain.

CFO Luka Mucic said at the time that the cloud model would increase customer lifetime revenue. "We are effectively expanding our share of the wallet," he told investors.

Saueressig told us this benefit for SAP would be reflected in "an attractive model for the customer to convert maintenance into the cloud subscription."

He committed to the total cost of ownership being lower in the cloud than comparable current payments. The Reg has no hard and fast facts about pricing to share at this point.

staffer props head on pile of books as he clicks a mouse and fights sleep

Teasing HANA database upgrade, SAP leaves crowd wondering if software giant has lost its innovation mojo

READ MORE

As part of the RISE strategy, SAP has bought Signavio, a specialist in business process analysis and management, in a deal said to be worth $1.2bn.

Saueressig said SAP will use its analysis tools to figure out how to get companies to more standardised processes on S/4HANA, but admitted the journey could be complex and take a number of years. But companies want to move from capex on-prem to opex in the cloud now, he claimed.

"We want to give [customers] a helping hand now to move them on a public cloud infrastructure as a service and help them on their way, step by step with the process intelligence to optimise the processes. This will be a journey," he said.

But some analysts were sceptical about the move to standardised systems. Duncan Jones, veep and principal analyst at Forrester, said SAP is trying to make it easier for existing customers to embrace a move to S/4HANA.

"Our data suggests that there is a very large level of inertia amongst SAP customers, far more than many other ERP products. They are happier, and satisfied with the current system," he said.

Jones added that if customers want a simple lift-and-shift to take their current system into the public cloud, there were plenty of options already out there.

In terms of modernising customer experience, CRM or supply chain management, in many companies business units are leading IT strategy and picking off-the-peg SaaS solutions, leaving IT departments to knit them together around an existing instance of ERP, Jones said.

SAP's new offer might not be enough to significantly change that thinking, he said. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading
  • Google assuring open-source code to secure software supply chains
    Java and Python packages are the first on the list

    Google has a plan — and a new product plus a partnership with developer-focused security shop Snyk — that attempts to make it easier for enterprises to secure their open source software dependencies.

    The new service, announced today at the Google Cloud Security Summit, is called Assured Open Source Software. We're told it will initially focus on some Java and Python packages that Google's own developers prioritize in their workflows. 

    These two programming languages have "particularly high-risk profiles," Google Cloud Cloud VP and GM Sunil Potti said in response to The Register's questions. "Remember Log4j?" Yes, quite vividly.

    Continue reading
  • Rocket Lab is taking NASA's CAPSTONE to the Moon
    Mission to lunar orbit is further than any Photon satellite bus has gone before

    Rocket Lab has taken delivery of NASA's CAPSTONE spacecraft at its New Zealand launch pad ahead of a mission to the Moon.

    It's been quite a journey for CAPSTONE [Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment], which was originally supposed to launch from Rocket Lab's US launchpad at Wallops Island in Virginia.

    The pad, Launch Complex 2, has been completed for a while now. However, delays in certifying Rocket Lab's Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) pushed the move to Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022