Always up for new learning and an excuse to get together – InCloud Solutions customers have been meeting in London to listen to SAP knowledge god Rainer Zinow talking about the future of SAP Business ByDesign. If you are exploring the market for ERP style software solutions or just interested in the way business software is going, then Rainer is a fascinating speaker. He is also the key figure behind SAP Business ByDesign – the mid market solution that we have made our speciality – so it is always good to get his take on the future.

The Cloud ERP Overview

Rainer delivered a thoughtful overview of SAP’s strategy for SMEs and how he sees the market for cloud – before going on to talk about the future of SAP Business ByDesign – basically it is expanding rapidly!

The suite-in-a-box option is favoured by mid sized companies with between 50 and 1,000 employees who don’t have the complex needs of larger companies  (who are often looking for highly bespoke on premise solutions.) Rainer reminded us of his coffee pod analogy, which describes the difference between the 2 types of users. Suite-in-a-box customers are totally happy with the great coffee produced by a coffee pod machine, while bespoke customers would rather brew something more complex to their own specifications. It is a great analogy and still holds up.

The future of SAP Business ByDesign is User-Friendly!

With the cloud market getting bigger all the time and SAP taking its place firmly at the centre of it, Rainer was full of ideas for how to make the future of Business ByDesign, as user friendly as possible. With each generation expecting ever greater levels of user ease, Business ByDesign is subject to a continuous process of improvements. It is interesting to note that many of these suggestions come direct from you. Elsewhere it is the job of the engineers to create useful shortcuts and libraries of popular scenarios that will make your job easier! For example, want the most frequently searched Top 5 KPIs for liquidity management? You will be able to dip into the library and get that for your use without having to create it yourself from scratch.

Predicting the Future

Which brings us to ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE and MACHINE LEARNING – the twin boons to modern business software. With AI and ML now working in the background of your Business ByDesign suite it can start to predict what you want to do. For example, the system can learn that a certain combination of key strokes made regularly, is often followed by a request to bring up a certain report. As it learns that this is what you habitually want, it will prepare the report in the background for an even faster on demand service.

Rainer went on to tell us where he is placing his greatest investment for the future of Business ByDesign and without giving too much away, they fell into the following categories.


The future of SAP Business ByDesign mobile is that it should give you the same seamless experience as your desk top version. All the actions should be the same with the exception of approvals which on mobile has a single swipe action that makes working on the go so straight forward.


SAP has put in a tremendous amount of work and millions of Euro into making sure we all stay GDPR compliant – including looking at preparations for how information may be managed in the future.


Keeping the CEO out of jail is a big part of Rainer’sjob – and it’s a comfort to know that there are teams of SAP engineers looking at regulations worldwide to make sure you comply without stress.

A huge part of Rainer’s job is to help customers access and then use their own information as easily as possible.


Never stop learning how to get the best from your SAP Business ByDesign software – there are 9 courses on the Open SAP portal for you to access.


As touched on earlier, machine learning gives you your time back by learning how YOU use the system


With Business ByDesign we give you the data base to house all your company data and then make it possible for you, the CEO and your colleague, the CFO  – to access and discuss that information even though you are both in different parts of the world.


As this article has hopefully shown you, Business ByDesign is constantly being improved. For the latest information on the future of SAP Business ByDesign please visit the product road maps here 


Real World Insights for Companies Moving to the Cloud

Rainer began his talk by quoting Mickey North Rizza, lead ERP analyst at IDC – she is clearly such a huge source of knowledge in the ERP space that I wanted to share some of her articles with you to help you progress your journey into digital transformation and ERP. These knowledge resources will help you to select the right software, understand the critical importance of a good implementation and how to progress your cloud journey into the future.

The DX World: SaaS and Cloud-enabled Technology Selection Best Practices (IDC #US43757518). IDC’s field research found that the selection process was one of the most critical aspects of moving to SaaS and cloud-enabled software. Organizations that experienced disappointments often traced this back to errors made when they were selecting their technology platform and their implementation partner. This article offers best practices and recommendations to ensure a successful SaaS and cloud-enabled selection process.

The DX World: SaaS and Cloud-enabled Technology Implementation Best Practices (IDC #US43758318). How well a software package is implemented has always been a critical determinant of how much value the software delivers for the organization that buys it and uses it. This article addresses best practices and advice for the technical issues and the people and business issues associated with a successful SaaS and cloud implementation.

The DX World: SaaS and Cloud-enabled Technology Post Go-Live Best Practices (IDC #US43759518). Change doesn’t end when the implementation process is completed – the cloud journey continues after the organization is on the cloud. For SaaS and cloud software users, it’s important to maintain a proactive and business-oriented approach to “life on the cloud.” This article provides best practices and advice that enable organizations to get the most from their SaaS and cloud-enabled software after the initial implementation is complete.

The DX World: SaaS and Cloud-enabled Technology Implementation Brings Business Impact (IDC #US43759218). The transition to SaaS and cloud-enabled software should enable the business to better manage itself from front office to back office, across the globe, and make the business stronger because of the technology choice. However, businesses will need to be prepared for the impact that this transition will have on their operation. This article discusses some of the business impacts uncovered in IDC’s field research and offers recommendations to help organizations to get optimum value from their investment.