I suspected this "rental software project" was Business ByDesign, and here is the e-mail response I got from an SAP spokesman:
"This is simply a reallocation of some development resources from Business ByDesign to Business Suite and other areas. The 'development' of Business ByDesign is now much more mature than in the early stages and therefore the development resources required are fewer than before. We now have the necessary number of people on Business ByDesign to continue to innovate around the solution, and are leveraging development expertise and know-how from the Business ByDesign efforts in other development areas across the company. This is long-planned and consistent with existing strategy."
Note the part about "leveraging development expertise and know-how from the Business ByDesign efforts in other development areas across the company," and remember that SAP recently hired former Oracle executive John Wookey to develop SaaS-like modules for core ERP systems.
Some might jump to the conclusion that this means SAP is shifting resources from pure SaaS to more of a "software plus services" strategy as it sees more potential for the latter. Or, as SAP implies, it simply only needs 70% of the resources it previously had working on Business ByDesign. Either way, expect SAP to bring more clarity to its SaaS strategy, on or around the time of the SAP user group's Sapphire conference in Orlando, Fla., in early May.