Podcast: Informal SAP SME and ByDesign Chat with SAP Mentor Leonardo De Araujo

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"An informal chat with Leo on SAP SME, Business ByDesign, All-in-One, and Leo's upcoming attendance at SAP DKOM"
Podcast Interview Date: February 21, 2011
Podcast: Listen Now!

I'm always going for an informal feel on my podcasts, but usually we have a topic and an agenda laid out. In this case, we had a different podcast taping planned and it didn't pan out. Since I had SAP Mentor Leonardo De Araujo of Beyond Technologies on the line, I figured we should go ahead and tape a spontaneous podcast on some topics of interest. The end result is a very informal chat that covers a series of topics, most of them SAP SME related. During the 20 minute podcast, Leo and I discuss his pending attendance as a Mentor at SAP DKOM, what he's learning about Business ByDesign as a potential future Canadian partner, and his take on the SME market and SAP All-in-One. 

This podcast has been added to the JonERP iTunes podcast feed.

Podcast Highlights

1:00 For the first time, SAP Mentors are being invited to DKOM even if they are not SAP employees. They will sign NDAs and participate - why is Leo interested in attending?  Leo: this is a great opportunity to see how the technical message is being delivered internally to developers at SAP.

4:25 Business ByDesign discussion: What is Leo's take on ByD as a potential future Canadian partner? Leo at Beyond Technologies, we are believers in SaaS, and we like the ByD product. Our target is SME companies, so I really believe in ByD for that market. We've been trying to get more visibility on being a Canadian SAP partner, but the information has been coming a bit slow. How will this work? What is the revenue model? How will we be licensing the solutions? We're waiting on more info, we can't go ahead without getting more questions answered. The business model and how things work in ByD is a game changer. You can't really share your Business Suite resources with ByD, it's a totally different ball game both in services and sales. So you might need a different division. How many developers will I need if I want to develop an add-on application? 

8:44 Jon to Leo: Would you consider developing an add-on ByD application for a particular industry? Leo: definitely - if we can figure out an area where we can have an impact. SAP won't be able to cover all the verticals themselves. That's where I believe we can add a lot of value. Jon: hopefully we'll have clearer answers by SAPPHIRE- it seems like this is similar to our TechED podcast. Leo: Where are we now? Should we be ramping up our partner plans now or waiting until 2012? That's where we're trying to focus on. Jon: SAP has clarified a lot of questions about the on-demand platform (core and edge), but there are more partner questions for ByD that remains unanswered.

12:30 SME in focus - what kinds of priorities are customers focusing on? Leo: NetWeaver now offers so much more than it did five years ago. Still, our day to day work is in the Business Suite. NetWeaver Business Client, Enhancement Packs, Object-Oriented development - a lot is changing as well. So it's traditional SAP work, but changes are coming as well. Leo: SME companies need one solution with all the pieces smartly put together, including BW and Portals. But in the end, you still need a good core team of FI/CO, SD, ABAPpers. 

15:15 Jon to Leo: What value do you see in third party solutions? Are SME customers interested in this? Leo: We think there are scenarios that can automate repetitive tasks and get more value out of SAP. Winshuttle is one possible product that can do this and customers are open to third party tools if they can have a bottom line impact. SMEs often have industry-specific needs, but there is also the perception that developing in SAP is costly. Sometimes third party alternative tools are welcome to reduce licenses around transactions or forms or other kinds of use cases. At the end, it's a matter of cost. 

18:35 SAP All-in-One - That's our big focus this days. We are building an All-in-One solution using the Amazon cloud and our own tools and accelerators to come up with a fast start for customers. Jon to Leo: is it difficult to transition your skills from R/3 to All-in-One? Leo: the functionality is largely the same. It's more the mindset: you have to say no more often than not when it comes to working with smaller companies, they can't necessarily afford every functionality enhancement they want. 

Editor's note: since this podcast was taped, Business ByDesign 2.6 was released.