Posted on August 2017 By Jack Bland
Recently at Speller International, we were lucky enough to have Tony de Thomasis, Director of SAPWORKS present to the team on different Cloud services. There is a lot of confusion in this space and his presentation helped to clarify this for our team. Here is my even more simplified version to share.
With Cloud computing being the way forward now for most new SAP implementations, we wanted to take a look at the different options companies have available to them and some of the pros and cons.
There are four ways that SAP can be implemented; these are On Premise, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service. Here we look at these four different methods and as a way of simplifying these services we are going to think in terms of Pizza! Yum!
On Premise is the traditional way of implementing SAP and is the way that we have done things since Jesus played full back for Jerusalem! Everything is based in house: Applications, Data, Network, Storage, Middleware, Servers, O/S, Runtime & Middleware. In terms of pizza, this is your ‘made at home’ pizza. You are responsible for everything from the topping to the table you eat it on!
Advantages – it is customised to your needs, you are in control, you have responsibility of security and data (and toppings!!).
Disadvantages – long implementation lifecycles, expensive, differing results and hard to get help.
Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)
Infrastructure as a Service, is where a company such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform supply the infrastructure for your system; servers, storage, networking, virtualisation which are hosted offsite. In pizza terms, this is buying your pizza from the supermarket; the topping, cheese, tomato sauce and dough are all done for you but you still have to supply the oven, electric lighting and table.
Advantages – you generally get high speed machines and networks, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and upkeep for them, and you can get help from them when needed. The system still has customisable apps so you get the best of both worlds.
Disadvantages – you lose complete independence as some responsibility is taken by the vendor, and because you need to trust the vendors with some of your security, this may be a concern.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service means that the majority of your services are hosted by a provider except for your applications and data. This option is available through SAP Cloud Platform, Google App Engine & Cloud Foundry. Relating to Pizza this is out delivered pizza. Almost everything is taken care of except for condiments and a table!
Advantages – fast implementation time, provides quick access to functionality, reduced IT efforts because both hardware and software operation and maintenance are the provider’s responsibility. It is a subscription model rather than licensing contracts and you only pay for what you use.
Disadvantages – you have less control, results will be similar to what other companies have and the future cost of subscription is out of your hands.
Software as a service (SaaS)
The final option, Software as a service (SaaS) is where everything is done for you. It is the same as having Netflix at home or dining out to get our beloved Pizza! In the SAP world SuccessFactors, Ariba, Fieldglass and S4 Hana Cloud are all examples of SaaS.
Advantages – everything is looked after for you. the implementation times are short as it is a more “off the shelf product”. You receive automatic enhancements and upgrades and it is a simple way to implement SAP.
Disadvantages – not very customisable, support may not be always at the level that you expect and you are not in control of your own destiny.
So there you have it, the four main methods of implementing SAP in the Cloud in terms of pizza and is very much a fit for your circumstances and needs, or your own personal taste!