SAP's Business Suite, which includes the software giant's mainstay ERP apps, will soon be available via cloud subscriptions. The apps will be offered through SAP's Hana Cloud platform (launched last year), which already runs a slew of SAP and 3rd-party apps on top of the company's Hana in-memory database.
In addition to ERP apps, Business Suite features CRM and supply-chain management apps. Whereas many enterprises have embraced cloud CRM solutions, they've generally preferred to keep mission-critical ERP apps onsite.
Nonetheless, NetSuite (N) has had some success selling its cloud ERP solution to mid-sized businesses, and Workday (WDAY) has reeled in enterprise buyers for its cloud financials software (different from an end-to-end ERP suite). SAP's move presents the companies with fresh competition, but could also serve to validate the broader market.
Aided by the Ariba acquisition, SAP's cloud subscription/support revenue rose 121% in 2013 to €758M; all other software sales rose only 3% to €4.52B. The company is aiming for €3B-€3.5B in total 2017 cloud-related revenue.