SAP announcedtoday that it is launching new versions of its enterpriseresource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM),and NetWeaver data warehouse offerings through the SAP HANAEnterprise Cloud service. What this means is that all thesemission-critical enterprise applications will be available througha managed cloud service that users access online. This promises toreduce companies' sometimes enormous investments in ERPdeployments, accelerate time to value for these systems, andenhance scalability versus on-premises deployments.

The fact that SAP is testing a cloud-based ERP deployment is notsurprising. What might raise eyebrows is the fact that Dr. VishalSikka, a member of SAP's executive board, told the New York Times: “At some point in the future, compleximplementations [of SAP products] should go away. All of ourproducts are moving to HANA.”

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