SAP Almost Killed A Cloud Product That It Now Says Is Super Important

Lars Dalgaard SuccessFactors SAPLars Dalgaard

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SAP had considered killing its floundering cloud service called ByDesign, Co-CEO Bill McDermott told Dow Jones.But now it looks like it brought this cloud back from the dead just to make SuccessFactors use it.

SuccessFactors was acquired by SAP for $3.4 billion. Not surprisingly SAP has said that SuccessFactors has started using a whole bunch of SAP products, including ByDesign.

ByDesign was launched in 2007 and was supposed to have 10,000 customers by 2010. It’s been re-launched but still only has about 1,000 users, Dow Jones reports.

Now, McDermott says that the cloud will be an important part of SAP’s cloud strategy.

This might be because SuccessFactors had been using SAP’s competitor, NetSuite. During a speech on Tuesday, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson said that SuccessFactors is still secretly using NetSuite. He said it renewed the contract and employees are still accessing it, reports ZDnet. NetSuite competes with ByDesign because it offers its ERP and financial apps via the cloud.

NetSuite clearly enjoyed give its rival SAP a red face. But it does make us wonder if the only reason ByDesign wasn’t killed was because SAP didn’t want to be a customer of its competitor.

It is clearly going to be a challenge for SuccessFactors CEO Lars Dalgaard to teach SAP how to finally do cloud right and not let SAP bully SuccessFactors into a lot of bad decisions. We’ve written before how SAP’s culture could really hurt SuccessFactors.

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