What are the key business objectives and key target markets in 2004?
We are looking to significantly increase the number of partners and customers that we work with this year. We also hope to add new countries to our list and increase the number of solutions available in many sectors of industry. To this end, we will be stepping up our lead generation activities and establishing an “engagement model” for large-scale and local existing customers. Our indirect sales channel for SAP Business One solutions is to be built up through our Solution Partner Program, and we have already extended the solution network between the various countries and SAP Business Partners. In terms of regions, we want to build up our Business Partner network in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan, and Latin America, whereas in EMEA and the USA, our main aim is to increase our market share.
Will SAP continue with two offerings for the SMB market?
We know that the difference between small businesses and midsize businesses is not determined by their size, but rather by the industry sector they operate in. For example, a manufacturer has different requirements from a financial services provider or retailer. Our offerings for the SMB market are extremely diversified, though we do deliver two market-focused core software products to our partners in the form of SAP Business One and mySAP All-in-One. But our partners then develop the particular solution based on their experience and knowledge of the SMB market, of course always relying on SAP products.
How does SAP ensure the quality of its SMB solutions?
The main difference between SAP Business Partners and other software vendors on the SMB market is that the SAP partners contribute extensive, micro-vertical knowledge of different industry sectors, which is a guarantee of quality. Every SAP Business Partner looking to develop and sell an SAP solution for SMBs must register for solution qualification and this registration must be renewed regularly. Otherwise, they cannot market it as a “mySAP All-in-One” or “SAP Business One” solution. Partner solutions based on mySAP All-in-One are usually offered at a fixed price to SMBs with sophisticated IT needs. Implementations generally last from between 150 and 300 working days at most, depending on industry sector and customer size. There are also many customers where implementation takes 100 days or less. On the other hand, SAP Business One implementations take on average 2 – 4 weeks.
SAP Business Partners serve as an indirect sales channel. Why did SAP establish this channel for SMBs?
The SMB market is difficult to penetrate because it is so diverse when you consider the different sectors, company sizes and customer proximity. The best way of addressing the unique requirements of the SMB market is with our partners. And SAP Business Partners are key to our success. They have the advantage of being well-positioned and well-known on their local markets. They are therefore a lot closer to our customers. They contribute hundreds of sales experts, micro-vertical industry consultants for SMBs and targeted support processes.
What exactly is the “engagement model” between the SAP direct sales force and the indirect sales channel?
The objective is to significantly increase our local customer bases and attract business from our large customers’ subsidiaries through SAP Business One and mySAP All-in-One. We can leverage tried-and-tested mySAP All-in-One solutions and our partners’ micro-vertical and SMB experience and expertise when it comes to local accounts. Partners act as prime contractors. Our large customers’ subsidiaries represent a tremendous opportunity on the SMB market. And this is where SAP has the best value proposition for SAP Business One and mySAP All-in-One. Special processes have been defined between SAP, its customers and partners so as to develop the best offerings for our customers depending on their individual requirements.