SAP AG announced plans to introduce regional solution centers leveraging the expertise of both SAP and its partners to further expand the world’s largest portfolio of industry-tailored business management solutions designed specifically for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs). With strategically located teams in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific regions, each SME Solution Center will be established to work with partners in developing and qualifying industry solutions that are fast and predictable to deploy, adaptable to changing business needs and that feature built-in industry expertise. SAP plans to introduce approximately 80 industry and market-specific solutions worldwide in 2006.
With teams based in Barcelona, Spain; London, United Kingdom; Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, United States; Prague, Czech Republic; Singapore; and Walldorf, Germany, the centers are intended to provide coverage and support for partners across SAP’s regions of operation. Teams from the centers will build localized industry solutions based on SAP Best Practices – methodology, documentation and preconfigured end-to-end business scenarios that support a predictable implementation time and cost. The solutions from the centers will be designed help small and midsize enterprises leverage SAP software to quickly gain operational efficiency and deploy a flexible platform for enhancing their unique competitive differentiators.
“Midsize enterprises in many industries remain underserved, without business management solutions geared to their specific industry or microvertical needs and sufficient vendor coverage to address their markets,” said Bob Anderson, research director, Gartner Group. “At the same time, partners may lack the resources to bring new solutions to market cost-effectively. Creating regional teams to focus on specific market and industry opportunities will help meet the growing market demand as SMEs increasingly seek to gain competitiveness through effective use of IT.”
Midsize enterprises benefit from high-quality market and vertical solutions
Whereas midsize enterprises face many of the same industry challenges as their larger competitors, many still lack solutions that address their industry processes with the necessary level of specificity, sophistication and scalability. By combining the resources of SAP and its partners in a systematic and global approach, each SME Solution Center will be able to increase the number of companies that can benefit from the portfolio of industry solutions from SAP and its partners that deliver all-in-one software packages.
Through the centers, SAP and its partners aim to create a total portfolio of more than 650 qualified solutions available worldwide. Industries of focus include automotive, chemicals, consumer products, dealer business management, fabricated metal, food and beverages, high tech, industrial machinery and components, life sciences, logistic service providers, professional services, public sector, retail and wholesale distribution.
“We were able to realize a faster return on investment and reduced implementation time and costs of approximately 60 percent,” said Jan Orsuliak, managing director, Avex Production, a manufacturer of electronic components based in Oravská Lesná, Slovakia. “We expect to double profits in the next year and, by enabling us to manage and control costs, SAP is helping us achieve these results.”
Acceleration of value with rapid implementation
The offerings from SAP and its partners will be designed to provide customers with complete business management solutions, ready for rapid implementation. In addition to mySAP Business Suite applications and SAP Best Practices offerings, the solutions include implementations based on the proven SAP ASAP Focus methodology. These solutions will be designed to tie together software, documentation, pre-configuration and implementation accelerators to help customers prepare systems, data and people for success. Able to be deployed in a phased fashion and extended or adapted over time, the solutions can optimize core business processes and are intended to enable midsize enterprises to focus on those attributes which provide competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Hitachi Consulting, a leading service partner of SAP in the chemicals, mills, high-tech and consumer goods industries, signed its first customer using partner assets gained within three weeks of working with the North American SME Solution Center.
“By adding the new offerings as part of the overall solution from Hitachi Consulting, we are seeing significant reductions in time to realize return on investment for our customers,” said John Clark, managing vice president, Hitachi Consulting. “This is the first of many expected successes using the solution center assets to reduce risk, complexity and total cost to our customers in the mid-market.”
Targeting opportunities, accelerating time to market for partners
By streamlining package development and qualification processes, the centers will allow SAP to expand both its portfolio of solutions and its partner network for developing and delivering the offerings to midsize enterprises. Leveraging the industry, implementation and local-market expertise of SAP and its partners, each SME Solution Center will deliver turnkey solutions with streamlined and standardized processes.
The centers also will provide training and sales tools for more effective marketing and sales of solutions, in addition to a framework through which partners can localize solutions for introduction into new markets. As a result, partners will be enabled to grow their SAP practices with improved profitability, faster time to market and expanded market opportunities. In addition, the solution development activity will be recognized under the SAP PartnerEdge program for channel partners.
“Under our SAP-qualified solution, ARIS SmartPath, we have already developed a strong set of industry solutions based on best practices from SAP,” said Wolfgang Köstler, director, Mid-Market Solutions Europe, IDS Scheer AG. “The SME Solution Center will support us with dedicated resources for fast and efficient development, localization and maintenance of our solution portfolio. This will speed up our time to market significantly, especially in new industry segments.”
“We are building the global capabilities to support both our growing base of customers and our partner network with more solutions and focused resources,” said Nils Herzberg, chief operating officer, Product and Technology Group, SAP AG. “The new SME Solution Center will unite the expertise of SAP and our partners to help more midsize enterprises leverage best practices to compete with agility and become best-run businesses.”