The release of SAP’s Business ByDesign suite next month will offer SMBs fully integrated on-demand business processes. Microsoft and HP continue to target the SMB market, this time in the Unified Communications space.

SAP’s ByDesign For Release Next Month

The new SAP (news, site) Business ByDesign suite is due for release next month. The release focuses on on-demand business solutions and comes with in-memory analytics, customizable reports, forms and user interfaces.

Specifically designed for midsize companies, SAP Business ByDesign is a comprehensive, fully integrated on-demand business software suite that enables customers to run an extensive set of end-to-end business processes while having the option to gradually deploy the full, integrated suite at their own pace.

Some of the features that should grab the attention of SMBs include:

  • Real-time analytics: With in-memory analytics, customers can analyze all corporate data in real time. This can also be run with Microsoft Excel.
  • New user interface (UI): New interface with simplified navigation, interactive graphics, tighter Microsoft Office integration and easy personalization. The model-based UI also enables greater integration of mash-ups.
  • Integration and extensibility: A development environment for the development of industry-specific functionality, including full vertical solutions based on SAP Business ByDesign.

Enterprises will also be able to choose either single or multi-tenant topologies as the solution is fully enabled to support both.

SAP also announced its plans to accelerate the creation of a partner ecosystem around SAP. With Business ByDesign, SAP aims to establish the on-demand software as a foundation for solution and services partners.

HP And Microsoft Communicate For SMBs

HP (news, site) has announced new communication, collaboration and networking solutions to drive growth for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) along with new storage solutions and online services that will enable SMBs to efficiently protect data and manage operations.

Built around Microsoft’s (news, site) Unified Communication suites -- Exchange Server, SharePoint Server and Communications Server -- HP is working with Microsoft, Citrix, 3Com and other companies to build its Converged Infrastructure offering.

The unified computing system aims to compete with those offered by Cisco-EMC-VMware-BMC and Oracle-Dell partnerships.

HP says the new products will enable SMBs to streamline communications and operations while deploying more efficient routes to market in order to expand business opportunities.

Is It Time Your IT Budgets Lost Weight?

Smaller businesses can cut their IT costs in half and more by replacing PCs with thin clients and cloud computing, according to an IT cost of ownership study by Lancaster University, commissioned by Thinspace.

By switching to thin clients business with between six and 100 employees can make IT savings upwards of 50%, including 71% reduction in IT maintenance and 61% reduction in capital expenditure.

Thin clients work just like PCs from a user’s perspective but cost much less, use 10% of the energy and are more secure, because all applications, security rules and data are managed on a remote server or in the cloud, not on the desktop.

The study was conducted by a team of Lancaster MBA students during the first quarter of 2010. Comparing five typical IT scenarios based on a business with 25 employees, one server and using owned PCs with 3rd party support as the benchmark it found:

  • Pure thin client cost 45% of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Thin client with ‘back-up server’ at 58%
  • Owned PCs with in house IT person at 195% of TCO

If you’re looking to calculate potential savings Thinspace has built a simple online calculator, based on the study. Check it out.

Symantec Identifies SMB Web Threats

Symantec (news, site) is back this week, with a whitepaper that has identified what many SMBs regard as their top web threats as well as suggestions on how to beat them.

Based on a survey of 273 IT managers, web threats fall into two main categories. First there are the things that employees do online -- like visiting infected websites. Then there are the challenges and difficulties facing IT managers when it comes to managing web use in a secure and efficient way.

In any case here are the top ten:

  1. Wasting time social networking (86%)
  2. Enforcing acceptable use policies (53%)
  3. Monitoring employee web use (52%)
  4. Keeping security systems up to date (49%)
  5. Legal risks such as employees visiting inappropriate websites (44 %) and the accidental disclosure of confidential information online (57%)
  6. Keeping internet bandwidth free (44 %)
  7. Protecting remote and home workers (42 %)
  8. Use of unauthorised web-based applications (42 %)
  9. Protection against spyware and malware (40%)
  10. Protecting multiple offices and locations (19%)

This report looks at each of these concerns and proposed solutions. If you’re interested in more check out the full paper.

All-In-One Business Solution For SMBs

Attaché Software has announced the release of Attaché Accounts All-In-One, a comprehensive SMB business solution combining advanced accounting and payroll systems with customer relationship management (CRM) and smart business intelligence tools.

With all the typical systems required within business today, Attaché Accounts All-in-One provides SMBs with the convenience of an integrated solution, sourced from and supported by a single supplier.

Dashboards enhance business visibility by providing an easy way to track activity, offering an early alert to potential issues such as overdue invoices or purchase orders, or the need to reorder stock. Dashboard views are continually refreshed and additional views are easily created to meet individual needs.

The company has also introduced a pay-as-you-use model which includes updates and phone support and enables users to either expand up to a 100 user system or stop using with just 60 days’ notice.