Coincides with SAP announcing its ERP will be used the in-memory computing model to compete with Oracle
The Nottingham-based firm, which has delivered SAP-focused solutions for the last 14 years, counts Kingfisher, British Gas and Unilever amongst its customers. From January, the firm is offering its monitiQ for SAP as a service through partners.
Originally developed over several years for internal use, CEO Glyn Heath (pictured) says the service, “simplifies the management and helps ensure high-availability of mission-critical IT services.”
The firm has seen interest from North America and Australasia and the cloud-based model and specialisation around SAP provides a key differentiator in what Heath admits is a crowded monitoring market. “The boat has sailed for many midsized solution providers like ourselves to develop new applications [from scratch],” says Heath. “We are more than amenable in sharing our propriety IP with channel partners…as the likelihood of us coming into conflict is small.”
However, Heath admits the solution is part of a wider strategy to move the company towards a more channel-centric model but states that the firm will still carry on with direct engagement for its core business.
The firm is approaching IBM and SAP partners with an aim of recruiting around a dozen with a similar footprint and focus as itself. Heath believes there is enough opportunity in the marketplace and monitiQ will help the channel streamline operational support processes and costs that are essential in profitable and long-term SAP engagements.
Centiq’s announcement dovetails neatly with news from SAP that its ERP software can now run on the HANA in-memory database, a move that will see the firm compete more aggressively with Oracle.
According to Carter Lusher, chief IT analyst at Ovum, “SAP Business Suite on HANA has the potential to be a game changer by making SAP much more relevant to its customers. But in the near term, SAP Business Suite on HANA should be seen as opportunistic upgrade for existing customers or greenfield opportunity for new ones.”
He adds: “Few if any enterprises currently rank replacement of enterprise systems as top priority. Convincing customers that the "transformative" benefits of Suite on HANA will be non-disruptive technically is the challenge SAP faces with an entrenched Business Suite customer base. Companies don't swap out their database and ERP investments overnight.”
Centiq CEO Heath broadly agrees but also points out that, “for existing SAP ERP users, the justification for switching is much more clear-cut once they understand the enormous value in-memory computing can deliver. And the business case can be very simple: by moving to the underlying HANA platform, businesses can realise significant database software licensing savings, from Oracle say, and utilise lower-cost industry standard server technology and as a result I believe there will be a shift in SAPs favour.”