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Global CIO: SAP Preps For Cloud Future Via New Intel Partnership

SAP's enhanced research alliance with Intel will accelerate its move into cloud computing and SaaS and strengthens the set of SAP partners trying to shape the future of enterprise software.
SAP is making this commitment to extend its offerings beyond the traditional on-premises model and into the on-demand models that more and more customers want to evaluate or purchase for use in non-production systems, with an eye toward extending those new on-demand models more deeply into their businesses as they gain expertise and experience.

For good reasons, both SAP and Oracle have taken some heat for what appear to be their leisurely and low-priority efforts to bring to market new on-demand products and services. But Rattner's own words indicate that via the Intel partnership, SAP is looking to accelerate its ability to make such moves, and to have greater insights and capabilities at hand when its cloud and SaaS products come onto the market: the charter of the new "Collaboratory," he said, "is to understand and drive enterprise computing in Europe such as Cloud Computing or Software-as-a-Service or SaaS."

You can read the full text of Rattner's blog post here.

And a press release put out by Intel's European operations offered this unequivocal statement about the lab's commitment to the untraditional software models that represent a significant break from what SAP has focused upon in becoming one of the world's most successful and influential software companies:

The SAP and Intel Collaboratory’s long term goal is to develop technologies that will support efficient implementation of Software as a Service (SaaS) using cloud technologies. . . . Together with Cloud Computing, SaaS is expected to change the software market by enabling the customer to pay on a "per use" basis vs. the current norm which requires high up front capital investment to purchase the software application outright. A recent analyst report indicated that the market for cloud services could reach 150.1B by 2013, three times its current value.

Last week, CEO Marc Benioff surprised almost everyone by being allowed to speak at Oracle OpenWorld, and he talked about how his company would work with Oracle to give customers "the best of both worlds" with Salesforce's cloud-based products and Oracle's traditional on-premises products.

That's a great step forward for Oracle, but SAP's commitment here with Intel might indicate an even deeper willingness to avoid the inevitable and to begin to prepare now to embrace the cloud-computing paradigm of the not-so-distant future.

GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

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