One of the largest enterprise software markers in the world, Germany-headquartered SAP is preparing for an ambitious plan by rolling out a global B2B trading marketplace for business products and services.

William R. McDermott, chief executive said, SAP could offset a slump in sales of its bread-and-butter on-premise ERP services. It could also gain some substantial economic data about business behavior, which it could then sell. “Participants conducting digital commerce, and the insights that can come from there,” he said “All through HANA”. HANA is SAP’s tool for rapidly managing and analyzing large data sets.

Currently the plan is still in development stages and is most likely to be announced in early 2015. SAP could possibly grow into a direct competitor to Alibaba, already empowers momentous global B2B trading though an online marketplace.

Keeping in mind SAP’s massive customer base, the business would most probably aim to be the biggest, most sophisticated one out there. It might also be able to analyze and identify and publish diverse economic behavior than most government agencies can do today.

There are also numerous hurdles along the path. Quite a lot of internet companies have failed at trying to be alternatives to government reporting. None, in any case were as big as SAP, nor did they have any concrete experience in the world of cloud and mobile computing.

SAP comes after Oracle as the world’s leading software maker for planning and managing global manufacturing and financial operations. It has close to 3 million customers spread across 188 countries.

In May 2013, HANA became SAP’s first commercially available cloud-based service.

For the past several years, SAP tried to move more of its customer base towards using cloud computing by selling the software not as a package but as a service. It has even made several acquisitions, including Ariba, a corporate purchases software maker for $4.3 billion in 2012, Fieldglass a hiring and managing temp workers software maker for over $1 billion in 2013.

In November 2014, it acquired Concur, used in filing expenses for $8.3 billion.

The Concure acquisition played an important role in McDermott’s plan to build a colossal network of softwares available online. Concur’s CEO, Steve Singh, has previously spoken about the use of expense system for procuring and accounting for things such as airline flights, cars and hotels. Concur has sealed deals with several travel and lodging companies such as United Airlines to allow booking through its expense system.

Singh believes that there’s an incredible opportunity for technology to foresee our needs and act on them. It is going to be everywhere, whether it’s in buying trips to hiring people to getting goods and services in order to run a business. Singh will be running the new business for SAP.

By opening a B2B online marketplace, SAP will be able to expand its portfolio brimming with a number of offerings apart from data extraction. SAP wants it to be an open and digitally connected network, where anyone can build software on it.

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