Taking the Long View, SAP Injects Innovation into SME Portfolio

SAP is committed to a long-term, strategic investment in its portfolio of proven solutions for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), which make up approximately 80 percent of its customers around the world.

These growing enterprises prioritize the value that comes from providing an excellent customer experience, according to the latest research by Oxford Economics. In today’s harsh economic environment, SMEs require digital solutions that provide access to real-time data analytics for fast decision-making and support valued, personal relationships with customers and employees.


At SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP customers and SMEs shared how they are adjusting to new market conditions. These enterprises are using digital technology to overcome uncertainty and reimagine their business. To find out more, watch this SAPPHIRE NOW broadcast.


Solutions that Grow with the Business

Together with a global ecosystem of partners, SAP provides a multifaceted approach to delivering business software that grows with young, agile businesses. And with the promise to help customers run at their best, SAP helps ensure that businesses of all sizes can benefit from innovation without disruption.

“We always have a 10- to 15-year horizon in front of us,” Rainer Zinow, senior vice president of SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign, said at the SAP Global Partner Summit 2020, held online in June. “Our mission is to make sure our solutions work best for you – our partners and customers – in the long run. Therefore, we are making technological investments to make sure we get the most out of it for you.”

SAP Business ByDesign is a public cloud suite-in-a-box for fast deployment and low cost of ownership, Zinow underscored. SAP Business One is for companies with an on-premise or hosted deployment model, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the multi-component suite for companies with deep functional requirements.

Commitment to Choice

While the public cloud market is expanding in all segments and business functions, demand for on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions remains solidly robust. Fortunately, SAP is well positioned to deliver on its commitment to supplying a diversified solution portfolio to meet the varied needs of its customers.

“What sets SAP apart in the market is that we offer choice on the deployment method – whether on premise, private cloud, or public cloud,” Zinow said. “And we offer choice regarding the licensing model, be it a perpetual or subscription-based model. With SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign, we are well equipped for the market.”

Build Once, Reach Many with Business Application Factory

The keystone of SAP’s pledge to partners is the roll out of the new Business Application Factory concept – signifying a strategic, multi-year commitment that accelerates partner-led innovation across the SME portfolio while looking ahead to a new era of industrialization in application building. Built on SAP Cloud Platform, Business Application Factory provides a unified data model that uses business objects and reuse engines across the entire SME portfolio. This means partners can build and extend cloud-native applications side-by-side for all SME cloud solutions provided by SAP.

SAP partners can continue to leverage their local presence and deep industry expertise to build extensions and apps for their SME customers. The difference is that with Business Application Factory, instead of building one-off solutions for individual customers, partners will be able to access the comprehensive toolkit of reusable business components and technology from SAP to accelerate their time to market. The open-source architecture changes the existing approach, creating a compelling development environment for the SAP partner ecosystem. Another key advantage is that it can run on any hyperscaler’s architecture.

“Build once, reach many,” is how Zinow summed up the intrinsic value of Business Application Factory for SAP partners.

“With the factory, partners can extend both SAP Business ByDesign as well as SAP Business One, and they can also build completely new apps and solutions for the cloud,” he said. “We believe this is a game changer for our SME partners.”

SAP presented the Business Application Factory concept – designed for the cloud and tailored for digital use cases implemented by SME partners – at the 2020 SMB Innovation Summit in February, where it received overwhelmingly positive feedback from SAP partners.

Based on the SME solutions strategy and the feedback from selected partners and customers, the SAP Cloud SME Solutions team is developing Business Application Factory, with general availability planned toward the middle of 2021. This version is planned to contain core capabilities, to be expanded over time, and to be for all partners in most countries. Regions will be defined based on demand.

To learn more, visit the Small and Midsize Business Management Software area of sap.com.

This article first appeared on the SAP News Center.