Businesses expect enterprise-on-demand services to be provided like consumer products, according to SAP. In an interview with Computerworld UK, Christoph Behrendt, senior vice-president of SAP Business ByDesign Solution Management, said that a key customer trend that SAP is seeing is that businesses are looking for simpler solutions for their business needs.

“The expectation of the new generation is that it [IT business solutions] is like a consumer business. It is not complicated anymore and the entry of choice needs to be much more consumable and much faster [than traditional models],” said Behrendt. In addition, Behrendt said that customers want products that are networked and integrated.

“It has to play together. Previously, different functions, for example HR or sales, made isolated decisions. Today, businesses want to bring together the fragmented solutions to get a whole picture,” he said.

However, Sven Denecken, vice-president of Co-Innovation in SAP’s OnDemand division, pointed out that busines requiremetns had changed since the depths of hte recession. “Two or three years ago, it was about stability, shared services, how to get everything on to the same process. It was all about cost.

“Now, they [IT departments] are thinking about how to support the business outcome,” said Denecken, explaining that by thinking along these lines, IT departments are supporting business goals.

Integration of solutions, or ‘orchestration’ as SAP likes to call it, was a key message that Behrendt was keen to get across at the SIIA OnDemand Europe conference in London today. “We strongly believe that in on demand, we need to network the different solutions together.

“If you look at midsize to large enterprises, there is an existing on-premise infrastructure. That’s going to stay, and we need to integrate into that. Integration needs to happen in order to open up the market,” he said.

He explained: “For example, if I go to a customer who has an on-premise ERP system, and I offer him a line of business solutions for sales on demand, we believe that those solutions are going to talk to each other. This piece of orchestration is just one example of what needs to be provided by suppliers as ready to use.”

Behrendt insisted that the orchestration would not be isolated to SAP solutions, saying: “We acknowledge that there are non-SAP solutions, and we really try and promote this openness of things that play together.”