SAP Midmarket Customers Discuss

Feature Article | October 16, 2008 by Claudia Linke

The panel was hosted by Hans-Peter Klaey, President SME at SAP, and his colleague Tom Kindermans, Senior Vice President SME EMEA. Klaey opened the panel with a description of SAP’s position in the small and midsize enterprise market, saying that SAP has “almost 38,000 customers globally in this market segment. He went on to delineate the three pillars of the SAP SME strategy: market expansion; a specific portfolio of solutions comprising SAP Business All-in-One, SAP Business ByDesign, and SAP Business One; and a multichannel approach.

Scalability and Growth

Chris Robinson, Managing IT partner at Davis Langdon, emphasized that SAP Business All-in-One gives the company the necessary scalability to underpin their growth. This is particularly important for the international consulting firm in the construction industry as it is expanding into the Middle East. “Additionally, the open architecture of the SAP solution has enabled us to better collaborate and co-innovate with our partners, customers and suppliers, no matter where they are,” Robinson said.

Nicholas Lindoff, director and general manager of Pentagon Chemicals, told the audience about Project Novus, an implementation team for a group SAP project designed to integrate their business systems and enable Pentagon to gain greater control and visibility of costs. “Our mission is to double profitability by 2010,” he said. “And now as we stabilize and grow the business, we see that our technology platform needed to be improved. This is why we are collaborating very closely with SAP.”

Rapid company expansion was also why the Russian company Mettler-Toledo Vostok, turned to SAP two years ago. Its home-made CRM solution was no longer adequate, and so the company chose SAP Business One to help it gain control over its operations. “We want to keep sales growing and expenses under control,” stated Deputy Director Yuri Makarov, who expects to achieve this with the help of SAP. The company is a subsidiary of the Mettler Toledo, a global company specializing in precision instruments.

Growth, albeit future, was also the reason why Clyde Pumps decided to implement SAP Business All-in-One. “We are very acquisition hungry,” explained Alan Dowie, finance director of the Glasgow-based company. “Implementing SAP will provide us a platform to run as a global business, it will give us one point of information, one point of the truth.” The company expects the SME solution to support product development, help roll out project planning, and to assist in understanding what their customers want when needed.

Improved Profitability

Jonathan Schaffer, Managing director of the UK company Plum Products, described how SAP Business One has helped the company to assert itself in a sluggish retail economy, where stockists don’t want to carry stock, but to order little and often instead. “We decided to put in a whole ERP system. Today we take more orders with fewer staff in less time and more efficiently than we did before.”

Ignacio Simon, IT manager at Axima, a Spanish leader in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and building management described how the company implemented SAP Business All in One to improve profitability and client competitiveness. He finds SAP processes very good and “that is very important because all the processes will follow the processes that they have designed.”

“The message from our customers on the SAP EMEA SME Customer and Media Panel was clear: SME’s select from our portfolio of products because the decision is part of their strategy for growth, the associated linking of their brand with SAP is perceived positively, and SAP is a strategic platform for their businesses to allow operational efficiency,” summarized Jennifer Roach, Head of SME Marketing, SAP UK & Ireland.

SAP EMEA SME Success

With over 37,500 customers worldwide, the SME market is a key sector for SAP and a fast growing one. In EMEA alone SAP signed 1,836 new names in the first half of 2008 alone. This growth has been supported by SAP’s strong partner ecosystem which includes more than 882 partners in EMEA, each specializing in a specific SAP SME product, industry or service.

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 integrated and adaptable on-demand solution for midsize companies; and SAP Business All-in-One, a customizable and extensible solution for midsize companies with deep industry best practices built in.

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