Testing the Waters: HP and SAP Launch Hosted ERP

The two partners will provide software, services, and support for less than $500 per user per month

Last week, Hewlett-Packard Co. and SAP AG announced a new ERP-as-a-service offering for midrange companies in specific vertical markets.

"Midsize customers are asking for real business solutions that can help them run their businesses more effectively and better compete with companies much bigger than themselves," said HP Americas senior vice president and managing director Jack Novak, in a statement.

The promise of the highly successful CRM-as-a-service model, of course, is that it eliminates many of the implementation and infrastructure expenses associated with a full-scale, on-premise CRM roll-out. Not surprisingly, HP and SAP are claiming similar benefits for their ERP-as-a-service offering, arguing that their targeted, industry-specific solutions will help companies reduce the guesswork and expense of (often costly) ERP implementations by providing software, services, and support for as little as $325 per user per month.

HP and SAP say their initial hosted ERP offerings will include solutions designed for the oil and gas fuel distribution, consumer products, high tech device, and technical service provider industries. HP plans to host the SAP applications at its Palo Alto, Calif. data center, and the two partners say the offering will encompass SAP’s ERP stack, from warehouse management software to financials. Customers can access the software over the Internet using a Web browser.

The hosted service includes software and implementation services from SAP and its partners, along with maintenance and end-user training, support, functional management and application management, also provided by SAP. Once customers are up and running on SAP, they’ll liaison with a dedicated SAP manager that’s assigned to their account. Customers also hold the software licenses, which HP and SAP claim gives them greater control.

To a large degree, the industry-specific solutions are enabled by SAP business partners. The solution for the consumer products-food industry, for example, was developed by itelligence, an SAP certified business partner. Other partners include Implico GmbH for oil and gas fuel distribution; GEMS, Inc. for technical service providers; and Bristlecone for high tech devices.

The hosted ERP services will be available through SAP, HP, and channel partners in the U.S., officials said.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.