One of the persistently murky areas of SAP’s cloud strategy is Business ByDesign. Even at the SAP Partner Summit, more ByDesign questions were raised than were answered.

To get a view from the field, Jon talked with  Leonardo De Araujo of Beyond Technologies at the end of day one of the SAP Partner Summit in Miami. Leo’s firm has expertise in All-in-One implementations but they also have a ByDesign practice and run ByDesign internally.

Leo started by pointing out that even HANA was downplayed in the favor of the cloud emphasis:

I thought there would be a lot of talk about cloud, but it was even more than I expected. It was refreshing, because we’ve been talking HANA for so many years, and everything else is second priority. Now it was cloud, and actually HANA was a component of enabling, delivering something else in the cloud, but it was all about cloud. That was refreshing, but as I quickly mentioned to you before, this possibility of subscribing to All‑in‑One in the long term, is going to be a big game changer.

Jon and Leo then moved into a discussion of the suddenly crowded SAP SME cloud landscape with ByDesign (the multi-tenant product) being joined by hosted B1 and hosted All-in-One. Leo also gives his view on the future of ByDesign and tells Jon why he thinks it’s a good product that his customers are asking for.

Leo also talks about Beyond Technologies working on ByDesign add-ons, which leads into a surprising discussion about UI. Leo argues that “beautiful” is a far less important design criteria than “it works well”:

Again, when we talk about user‑experience, we just have to distinguish between looking good and being functional. [ByDesign] looks good. It looks fine. Some transactions could be a little bit more optimized with less steps. But then, even now with the SDK, we can fix that.

On the mobility front, Leo has long been a proponent of ByDesign’s mobility features – he explains that he is now submitting timesheets to ByDesign for his company through his iPhone. The guys wrap with some back-and-forth on cloud performance and call it a wrap.

Show Notes

:45 Beyond Technologies – an SAP service and channel partner which includes a ByD practice

:55 Surprising shift from cloud to HANA at the Partner Summit

2:13 Confusion about cloud definitions and products

3:31 Partners will need coaching to make the cloud transition ted people with experience in the SAP solutions. Now the customers out there could get lost. That’s something that you need to pay attention to.

5:07 The role of ByDesign needs clarification

5:53 ByDesign’s scope of functionality requires experienced consultants

7:07 Building ByDesign add-ons

8:27 ByDesign performance and mobility

Disclosure: SAP paid for most of Jon’s travel and accommodations to the SAP Partner Summit.