Small Companies Are Big Players

September 26, 2013 by Christoph Zeidler

Foto: MasterLu/Fotolia.com

Foto: MasterLu/Fotolia.com

The conference venue was well chosen. Where else can you bring markets together if not on the Bosporus, where Europe and Asia flow together, with the Middle East just around the corner?  This is where traditional thinking of industrialized nations converges with new trends from emerging markets. In her keynote speech at the SAP SME Summit, Zeynep Keskin, manager of SAP Turkey, revealed that the average age of the Turkish population is 30 (compared to 42 in Germany, 37 in the United States, and 24 in India), adding that many talented young people with a thirst for knowledge are just waiting for their chance to make a difference and move themselves and their country forward.

At first glance, that doesn’t seem to have much to do with SAP and the IT industry. But as representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and startups made clear throughout the summit, you need technological innovations if you want to tackle societal problems. New ways of thinking must lead to new technological innovations, and vice versa.

Startups view IT as their greatest opportunity

Many of the startups that want (and need) to quickly implement and scale their ideas view IT as their greatest opportunity. SAP supports these startups in their quest, for example through its HANA Startup Program and SAP University Alliances Program. In addition, online training opportunities such as openSAP and the Academy Cube platform help close knowledge gaps.

Next page: How Lombard Tyres uses SAP Business One

Citing a recently published Oxford Economics study, Luis Maruia, Director of Ecosystem & Channels for SAP EMEA, pointed out that backed with this know-how, entrepreneurs all over the world are taking it one step further, distinguishing themselves as “early adopters” of new technologies.

SAP Business One on the go

According to Maruia, this increased commitment is particularly evident in emerging markets, such as the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), and in the Middle East. Case in point: Sean Kruger, Chief Financial Officer of South African tire wholesaler Lombard Tyres, who had traveled to Istanbul for the SME Summit. Kruger’s company is an SAP Business One customer, and its sales department works with the associated mobile app to accelerate processes and keep its employees – and its system – up-to-date at all times. This has significantly cut down their time and reporting effort for customer visits and accelerated the company’s billing processes, resulting in considerable savings.

SAP Business One has virtually paid for itself,” says Kruger, who admitted he hadn’t even considered SAP as a solution provider at first. “When we first heard about SAP, we didn’t think they could deliver what we needed at the price we wanted to pay. But when we took a closer look, the benefits were obvious.” This is a great compliment to SAP partner 4Most as well, which, like so many other indirect sales partners of SAP, alleviated of Lombard Tyres anxieties about the software “giant” SAP.

Next page: Service technicians equipped with iPhones running SAP Work Manager

Euro Games Technology also works with a mobile SAP solution. The Bulgarian company manufactures slot machines, which it sells and services in 65 countries. It equipped its service technicians with iPhones and Windows phones running SAP Work Manager. According to its head of sales, Stanislav Romilov Stanev, this effectively reduced the company’s planning and invoicing process chain from 11 to four steps, and saved the technicians almost 30 minutes’ time in doing preparatory paperwork.

He is pleased about the time and cost savings, which frees his staff up for other tasks: “Thanks to SAP Work Manager, we were able to shift three of our employees who previously dealt solely with the paperwork into revenue-generating sales positions. That really paid off.”

Partner and customer simultaneously

It paid off for Matthias Kneissl, too. He is the managing director of QPartner, a consulting firm specializing in SAP HANA. SAP partners who use what they sell have a competitive advantage: Not only do they optimize their business processes, they also enhance their reputation and can use their experience in a profitable way. Kneissl implemented SAP ERP powered by SAP HANA in less than four months. His company is now benefitting from significantly faster reporting processes and new analysis options.

Next page: The benefits of the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud

Timur Yenisen, managing director of Procons-4IT, a company specializing in the Turkish and Middle Eastern markets, likewise touted the benefits of SAP: “SAP HANA is ideal for everyone, for big companies and small companies alike.” Those just starting out and setting up their IT for the first time can get up and running “properly,” right from the start, he stated.

SMEs use the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud

And best of all, you don’t even have to buy your own hardware anymore if you use SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud – a very economical option that’s becoming more and more popular, especially among SMEs.

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