SAP has shed some light on its plan for a set of integrated on-demand enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs), due to ship next year.

Codenamed ‘A1S,’ the service will be offered as an integrated suite of tools for running various business functions, such as the order-to-cash process, a company spokesman said during the Sapphire 2007 US user conference.

The service is designed for SMBs that shy away from packaged ERP systems because of cost, complexity and other issues, the spokesman said.
And the tools for the hosted service have been in development for three years, he added.

He did not, however, disclose the vendor’s pricing plans for the hosted service.

A1S will make it easier for companies to configure and deploy their ERP applications at virtually the touch of a button, said Joshua Greenbaum, an analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting. “The configuration is done on the fly, and it’s quite leading-edge,” he said.

The service will likely appeal to SMBs looking to avoid having to manage or maintain back-end applications, Greenbaum said.

SAP also unveiled SAP E-Sourcing, a hosted application that can be used to automate requests for proposals and online auction processes. The service is priced at $10,000 ($5,009) and is available now, the company said.

SAP said its governance risk and compliance unit in May will ship the GRC Risk Management application to help corporate chief financial officers react to financial risks.