SAP provides additional revenue potential for SME ecosystem members

JohannesburgSAP today announced continued momentum in providing additional collaboration options to various companies that attend to the demands of small businesses and mid-size companies.

The programmes in this space allow companies of all sizes to expand their portfolios and create more revenue opportunities by offering their customers leading business applications dedicated to supporting those in the small and midsize enterprise (SME) market in weathering the economic storm, and by providing corresponding services.

More than 4 500 companies have already joined SAP’s growing SME ecosystem and thus taken up one of three options to collaborate with the German-based software company. The three programmes that have been proven to be important pillars of SAP’s strategy in the mid-market are the SAP Referral program, the SAP Extended Business program and the SAP PartnerEdge program

Gaining additional revenue with SAP Referral Programme

Announced last year (see April 2, 2008 press release, titled “SAP Expands and Supports Ecosystem by Rewarding Companies Worldwide for New Business Recommendations”), the SAP Referral Programme, open to SAP partners and non-partners, has already drawn more than 1 500 members who have generated nearly 1 000 leads.

The success of the programme is based on easy access to additional revenue potential for participating companies. Furthermore, companies can use the SAP Referral Programme as a starting point for their relationship with SAP, and might consider working more closely with the vendor as a second step.

Building long-term relationships with SAP Extended Business Programme

Companies associated with SAP partners can take part in the SAP Extended Business Programme. Only six months after its introduction in June 2008 (see announcement, titled “SAP Further Extends Its Ecosystem to Benefit SME Customers, Prospects and the Partners That Serve Them”), the programme has nearly 300 members. SAP created the programme to grant companies who regularly recommend, implement or develop SAP solutions access to the highly successful SAP partner network, as well as allow those companies to become directly aligned with SAP. At the same time, the programme allows SAP to support its partners in building their own ecosystem, expanding their own business and thus driving revenue for sales or implementation. This is also a business benefit for associated organisations that, in addition, will get the same training and education as their SAP channel partner colleagues — whether in going-to-market or providing consultation services, implementation or developing new solutions.

The Italian consultancy Spin Consulting joined the programme as a pilot member in 2007, and shows that advantages particularly smaller system integrators can get from the programme.

“We work in daily partnership with the SAP partner Infracom Consulting and given the work that we were already performing, the logic to liase more closely with Infracon and SAP itself was immediately apparent,” said Andrea Righetti, president of Spin Consulting. “We realised it was important to make it easier to acquire and maintain all the necessary skills to fully manage and complete SAP projects for our small-business customers. In retrospect, joining the programme was definitely worth it.”

The traditional way to partner with SAP in the mid-market is to sign a solution reseller contract for the award-winning SAP PartnerEdge Programme. This programme, which currently supports more than 2 500 partners serving small businesses and midsize companies, recognises and rewards partners for their expertise and commitment to delivering SAP solutions to their customers. It offers access to world-class resources, services and benefits that help partners build and maintain a successful partnership with SAP and their customers. The programme was introduced for the mid-market in 2005 (see May 18, 2005 announcement, titled “SAP Introduces World-Class Channel Program for Global Partner Network Serving Small and Midsize Businesses”), and due to its great success it has been expanded to partners in the large enterprise segment in 2008 (see May 5, 2008 announcement, titled “SAP Embraces Business Objects Partners and Demonstrates Benefits of Expanded Partner Ecosystem”).

Valuing the entirety of assets that partners have to offer is one of the reasons why the SAP PartnerEdge Programme is industry-leading. Proof to the success of the programme is the number of partners choosing the SAP vendor program over other offerings in the market. Companies that chose SAP for this purpose include Michigan-based Crystal Clear and Galaktika, based in Russia.

A good example of the program’s performance is the Russian systems integrator Norbit, which signed a SAP PartnerEdge contract in late August 2007. Within six months, the company became a silver partner and has recently become a gold partner. Norbit is also the first value-added reseller (VAR) in Russia to build up its own network of members of the SAP Extended Business Programme.

“Working with SAP has been a great experience,” said Anton Chekhonin, CEO of Norbit. “Since SAP PartnerEdge not only recognises revenue goals but also factors like customers satisfaction, we feel that working with SAP really helps us to improve client relations and make our business more sustainable.”

“SAP continues to find ways to enable companies of all sizes to be as successful as possible in working with SAP,” said Patricia Hume, Global SVP of Channel and Alliances for SME, SAP. “This collaboration was created to help mid-sized companies access the right offerings for their specific needs. In today’s fluctuating market, SAP’s vast partnering options give our partners additional revenue opportunities, and our customers will gain added value through offerings to help them manage their business processes more effectively. Throughout 2009, we will continue to develop the capabilities of our existing partners through intense enablement programmes as well as to expand our entire ecosystem, and we are confident that our innovative programmes will help us to attract the right companies.”

“SAP’s relationship with its partners sits high on the agenda. We invest heavily into our African channel because we have recognised that it is through their growth that we are able to achieve our own growth objectives. These channel programmes, and consequently their success, are an indication of the investment we are putting into our channel,” says Hildburg Hofer, SAP Channel Director, SME

SAP solutions for small businesses and midsize companies

With more than 64 000 small and midsize customers worldwide, SAP is a leading provider of business applications and an established and highly successful player in the small and midsize enterprise (SME) market. SAP offers a broad and innovative solution portfolio for small businesses and midsize companies to meet the heterogeneous demands of SME customers. SAP solutions for small businesses and midsize companies include SAP Business One, a single integrated application for successfully managing small businesses; SAP Business ByDesign, the software industry’s most complete, integrated and adaptable on-demand solution for midsize companies; and SAP Business All-in-One, a customisable and extensible solution for midsize companies with deep industry best practices built in. Sold, implemented and maintained through SAP and an expanding network of qualified partners, all of the solutions are competitively priced, easy and quick to implement and scalable to customers’ growing business needs. The SAP solutions specifically designed for SMEs help enable small businesses and midsize companies to lower operating costs, improve operational excellence, gain better business insight and control, and grow their businesses flexibly. Additional information is available at http://www.sap.com/solutions/sme.


SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software (*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With approximately 82 000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP”. For more information, visit http://www.sap.com.

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications.

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