SAP Announces Go-to-Market Strategy and Investment to Support Singapore Small and Midsize Businesses

Strategy Includes Twelve Industry-Focused Solutions, Devotion of More Than 100 Employees and Investment in Local Channel Partners

SingaporeSAP Singapore today announced its commitment to meeting the needs of SMBs in Singapore and, together with its partners, the intention to be the number one SMB player in Asia Pacific by 2005. SAP is approaching the SMB market in Singapore and throughout Asia Pacific with a comprehensive go-to-market strategy which includes the launch of twelve industry-focused solutions, local vertical channel partners, support from Technology Partners, selected government agencies, and significant monetary and resource investment. Participating in the Singapore launch event were Technology Partners HP, IBM, and Microsoft, SAP’s SMB channel partners, and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

With support from SAP’s Executive Board, the organization now has more than 100 SMB-focused employees in the region, and will invest, together with its Technology Partners, up to US$1 million in each Singapore SMB channel partner in the first two years of start-up, in knowledge transfer, solution development, go-to-market support, and training (see related release). As part of its long-term commitment to the SMB market, globally, SAP has established a dedicated business unit, which has a development and resource team based in China to support its partners and customers in Asia Pacific.

“A key element of our strategy and commitment to SMBs in Singapore is our understanding that SMBs need localized, industry-specific business solutions that can solve some of the key challenges they are facing. With these new solutions, we aren’t shrinking big business solutions for smaller companies,” said Mr. Chan Wai Leong, managing director, SAP Singapore. “We’re working with experienced local channel partners to provide full-scale affordable solutions tailored to the specific needs of SMBs in Singapore. With the right combination of industry expertise, partners, and local government support, we believe we will be able to address some of the key business pains facing SMBs and offer them the right size solution at the right price within the right time to go live, so they too can run their businesses as efficiently as big businesses.”

This move by SAP comes as IDC expects the small and medium enterprise (SME) market in Asia Pacific to grow at a combined annual growth rate of 18.5 percent until 2004, making it the fastest growing segment of the IT industry. In Singapore alone, there are more than 100,000 companies in this segment, representing ninety percent of the business establishments in the country. However, while SMBs, defined by SAP as companies with revenues below US$100 million, have a tremendous impact on the economy, their productivity is generally lower than larger enterprises. SAP plans to empower SMBs by making its solutions available through SMB channel partners in its Asia Pacific markets. Already, more than half of SAP’s Asia Pacific customers qualify as SMBs. In addition, SAP is also participating in the Infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Programme (iLIUP) by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (see related announcement) to partner with Singapore’s local infocomm companies to co-develop solutions for SMBs.

SAP Solutions for Small and Midsize Businesses
SAP channel partners will focus on implementing SAP solutions targeted specifically to the SMB market. mySAP™ All-in-One is intended for companies with as few as ten users, which require a high degree of industry-specific functionality yet also need cost-effective, quick-to-implement solutions. Drawing on industry best practices, these vertical out-of-box solutions are customized by SAP channel partners to meet specific SMB market needs. SAP Business One® targets small businesses with less process complexity. These businesses are generally sales-oriented companies and service providers that require a less industry-specific IT solution.

“What distinguishes an SMB is not the size of its business but the industry in which it operates,” said Mr. Sun Whye Mun, SAP Asia Pacific director for SMB. “That is why SAP is working with partners to provide industry-focused, easy to implement and affordable solutions that will provide a quick ROI for SMBs. We recognize that the ‘S’ in SMB does not mean simple, as many of them are part of sophisticated, complex global value networks. In Singapore, companies need real time visibility and control of their local and regional operations, and in today’s challenging market, reaction time must be in hours, not days or months.”

“SAP Solutions for Small and Midsize Businesses combine the robustness, scalability and best practices of SAP solutions with the local industry expertise of our channel partners,” said Mr. Sun. “By working with local governments and carefully selected channel partners who share our commitment to SMBs and offer vertical industry expertise, SAP can deliver long-term value by growing with its customers.”

SAP and its channel partners are conducting a series of seminars to reach and educate small and midsize firms.