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SAP ERP Payroll and HR Software Review

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SAP Hosting & Software Pricing

Hosting and Service Level Agreement

At the time of writing, SAP Business Suite (of which the payroll and HR functionality is a component) is a purely on-premises installation and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) hosting in the cloud is not available. However, potential buyers should be aware that in May 2012 SAP announced that following the acquisition of SuccessFactors, the company is adopting an “accelerated cloud strategy” to be delivered by a 5,000-strong ‘team’ dedicated to designing, building and delivering cloud solutions and serving more than 17 million users. The focus will be on four critical solution areas, one of which “People” is one; and will include the leveraging of SAP’s global payroll software as a cloud-based offering, available in 10 countries and integrated with SuccessFactors’ core HR solution, Employee Central.

Given the imminence of genuine cloud payroll from SAP, it is worth noting that the company’s current hosting arrangements rest on two Tier IV data centers in Walldorf, Germany and Newton Square, PA. Both centers are SSAE 16 and ISO 27001 certified and feature equipment redundancy, high availability fail-over, and multiple Internet connectivity points. However, further details were not provided, nor were details of the service level agreements forthcoming. While a degree of confidentiality is both expected and reasonable, it is unusual for a vendor not to provide basic information about uptime standards, etc.

SAP Software Pricing

As ever, precise pricing depends on too many variables and can only be determined in response to full details of an individual client’s requirements. However, what might be helpful as an indicator for the prospective buyer are the basic price points for various SAP software solutions:

  • SAP Business One - pricing can start as low as $7,000 for one user, including software licensing and implementation. However, when you factor in SAP’s caveat: "pricing may vary by country and currency…and…is the sole responsibility of SAP Business One partners" and take into account the Business One is only available from SAP Business One partners and cannot be licensed directly from SAP then pricing begins to feel fluid, to say the least. (The “$7,000” is based on surveys among SAP Business One partners in Germany, Denmark, and Ireland.) SAP also offers a "hosted" Business One solution – via partners – for as little as $95 per month for one user, based on a 48-month subscription with a minimum of three professional users.
  • Business ByDesign is a cloud solution and its subscription-based pricing model starts at $89 per user per month (with a minimum of 10 users).
  • No specific software pricing details were available for SAP Business All-in-One, neither the on-premises version (which presumably mandates a license/annual maintenance pricing model) nor the subscription-based hosting option.
  • SAP Business Suite 7 must be installed on-premise and, as such, a licensing model with annual maintenance contracts is at play for this purchase.

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