SAP and SMEs: Strong Partners

Feature Article | February 17, 2009 by SAP News

“We feel that working with SAP really helps us to improve client relationships and make our business more sustainable”, says Anton Chekhonin, CEO, NORBIT. The Russian systems integrator signed an SAP PartnerEdge contract in summer 2007. In just eighteen months, NORBIT has achieved gold partner status and is the first value-added reseller (VAR) in Russia to build up its own network of partners based on the SAP Extended Business program.

SAP PartnerEdge promotes sales and marketing

Companies who participate in the SAP PartnerEdge program are assessed by means of a points system, which rewards partners for their competency, commitment and sales performance. Partners achieve “associate”, “silver” or “gold” partner status according to the number of points they have been awarded. The number of SAP services and benefits supplied to the partner increases as the partner’s status progresses. Partners benefit from sales and marketing support, continuing education and technical support, for example.

“Fostering mutual growth” is the motto of the SAP PartnerEdge program launched in 2005. The program initially focused exclusively on the SME sector, though has also been offered for partnerships in the large customer space since 2008. At present, the program supports some 2,500 partners – and counting.

SAP Referral program generates additional revenues

Introduced in April 2008, the SAP Referral program has already drawn more than 1,500 members and almost 1,000 leads.

The successful concept is simple: SAP uses the SAP Referral program to look for consultants who recommend SAP solutions together with regional service providers of small and midsize companies. Benefits for participants include additional revenue potential and the gradual development of a closer partnership with SAP.

“The SAP Referral program now provides us an opportunity to refer our customers to a solution we see fit. This program helps us to provide additional value to our clients while rewarding our consulting efforts with additional revenue streams,” says Mark Stringer, managing director at Maven Solutions, a BI solution provider based in Manchester, UK.

SAP Extended Business program shares expertise with partners

Members of the SAP Extended Business program are even more closely linked to SAP. This program allows companies who develop, sell or implement software solutions in the SAP environment to cooperate more closely with the SAP partner network and with SAP itself. Companies can thus tap their full market potential above all through greater expertise.

The SAP Extended Business program supports companies in the field of IT in expanding their business area, developing new business models and areas, and strengthening their competitive position. The program is aimed at system integrators, service providers, independent software providers, infrastructure, network or print specialists, for example, as well as management, sales or marketing consultants.

SAP contributes to the Extended Business program by offering training and training content and by making knowledge about SAP solutions, current market trends and technological innovations available.

SAP develops partner capabilities

For 2009, Patricia Hume, Global Senior Vice President (SVP) of Channel and Alliances for SME, SAP, has announced enablement programs to “continue to develop the capabilities of our existing partners as well as to expand our entire ecosystem. We are confident that our innovative programs will help us to attract the right companies.”

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