From the time BVD CS was spun off from the Sema Group in 1988, it has been an active SAP partner as a solution provider with locations in France and Belgium – the French subsidiary is 100 percent SAP-oriented. Indeed, expanding on SAP services was the goal in starting the company. Though competitive pressures have forced the company to review other providers, SAP remains its vendor of choice, says Joel Pissoort, BVD CS director of SAP Solutions.
BVD CS focuses on the high end of the SMB market, where stability and quality of offering are crucial, areas in which, he says, SAP excels. High-end SMBs have the same complexity and business issues as larger companies but a greater need for the faster and cheaper implementations which mySAP All-in-One offers. The company also offers SAP Business One solutions in France.
“mySAP All-in-One gives us the opportunity to compete with vendors like Navision and JDE, as well as local vendors,” says Pissoort. “There used to be a budget gap, but with mySAP All-in-One we are increasingly considered as an alternative.” BVD CS has developed two mySAP All-in-One solutions, one for the food and beverage industry, the other focused on distribution. Both have been certified in France and Germany. Based on its experiences, the company expects to build two new mySAP All-in-One solutions per year.
BVD CS developed the food and beverage solution in-house but joined forces with IBM for the distribution solution. Under their agreement, IBM and BVD CS target the market together, with IBM including BVD CS solutions in their catalogue and BVD CS promoting IBM services. Relying on IBM’s size and capabilities, BVD CS can offer modular alternatives, says Pissoort, such as financing and outsourcing solutions. IBM’s pan-European coverage can also help BVD CS accelerate the growth of new vertical solutions in other regions.
BVD CS has implemented mySAP All-in-One at LCN, a French SMB in the petrochemical industry with 110 employees and 16 million Euro in revenue. The project concentrated particularly on integration of the logistics chains and tracing the path of components from development to end products. LCN chose SAP because of the solution’s rich functionality and control and management capabilities, according to Pissoort. The BVD CS implementation was completed in under three months.
Staying in charge for the future
Approximately 70 percent of BVD CS business is SAP related, although the company also specializes in .Net and Java expertise. An agreement with SAP France to provide training for the public sector provides additional income. However, despite this dependence on SAP, when it comes to profitability, says Pissoort, BVD CS itself has the responsibility – not SAP.
Beyond its relationship with IBM, BVD CS has begun other initiatives to improve its positioning and penetration in the SMB market: It is transforming from a backbone generalist into a niche specialist, with SAP help, and expanding its offering to include a full range of services – from hardware to sourcing solutions – to become the one-stop-shop for its SMB clients.
Because of the range of solutions the company offers, it is well positioned to gain ground in the SMB market, says Pissoort: “We take charge and have full commitment. We can offer a fixed price/per user/per year – this is very competitive.” In addition, an employee incentive plan helps the company expand its SMB business.
BVD CS has always had a positive feeling about SAP as a partner, he claims. Available information from SAP – both technical and non-technical – remains at an outstanding level. Nevertheless, he identifies some areas where SAP could improve – especially in training: The very broad SAP offering sometimes makes it difficult to identify the appropriate training courses. And prior to last year, he notes, SAP did not have a commercial and pre-sales team to support its SMB partners. Now, a dedicated team is in place, and BVD CS has already seen the first results of this more professional approach.
Altogether, says Pissoort, SAP’s stable offering, professional market approach, and high-quality products are mainstays of BVD CS’s goal of expanding in the SMB sector.