SAP Announces Go-to-Market Strategy and Investment to Support Malaysia’s Small and Midsize Businesses

Strategy includes prepackaged industry-specific solutions starting from RM399K, inclusive of hardware, implementation and services

Kuala LumpurSAP Malaysia today announced its commitment to meeting the needs of small and midsize businesses (“SMB”) in Malaysia and, together with its partners, the intention to be the number one SMB player by 2005. SAP announced a comprehensive go-to-market strategy, including the launch of three industry-specific solutions designed for Malaysian SMBs, local vertical Channel Partners, supported by SAP’s Global Technology Partners, as well as significant monetary and resource investment. SAP’s first wave of local SMB partners are JSPC i-Solution Berhad, Genovate Solutions (M) Sdn Bhd and ISS Consulting (M) Sdn Bhd, who will be supported by technology and services from Hewlett Packard (HP), Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.

“SAP is delivering a unique value proposition because our solutions are developed in Malaysia for Malaysian SMBs, combining SAP’s solutions and our industry-specific best practices, with the domain knowledge and localisation from our local channel partners,” said Puan Khatijah Shah, managing director, SAP Malaysia. “Each solution is designed to deliver value because it is specific to the needs of Malaysian SMBs in that industry vertical, with prices starting at RM 399K for complete solutions that include hardware, software and 150 man-day implementation services”.

With support from SAP’s Executive Board, the organisation will invest, together with its Technology Partners, up to US$1 million in knowledge transfer, solution development, go-to-market support, and training in Malaysian SMB channel partners in the first two years of start-up. 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.

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. However, while SMBs, defined by SAP as companies with revenues below RM300 million, have a tremendous impact on the economy, their productivity is generally lower than larger enterprises. As such, SAP aims to increase the efficiency of these SMBs through its cost-effective solutions, that are made affordable through SMB channel partners in its Asia Pacific markets. Currently SAP holds 51 percent of the e-business application market in Malaysia.

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.

“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 Malaysia, 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 carefully selecting 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 partners will be holding a technology solution fair to educate small and midsize firms in early September and will continue to conduct a series of seminars on a monthly basis to reach even more SMBs.

SAP’s Collaboration with Technology Partners
SAP’s plans for the SMBs is lauded by technology partners who have this to say, “The SAP/HP OneSource Program is a timely extension of our joint value proposition in the SMB space. Leveraging on HP’s expertise as an e-business infrastructure solution provider and SAP Solutions for SMBs, this new program will accelerate our penetration of the SMB market in Malaysia. We are confident that our cooperation with SAP’s channel partners will assist us in delivering solutions that are easy to implement, customer driven, and effective for the market,” said TF Chong managing director, Hewlett Packard Sales (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

“Intel is pleased to work with SAP in this initiative to fuel the fast developing software and solutions community catering to Malaysia’s small and medium businesses,” said Peter Choong, country manager, Intel Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd. “Initiatives like this will help to accelerate the adoption of open, standards-based Intel architecture and help us to deliver reliable, affordable and high price/performance solutions to SMBs.”

Microsoft Malaysia’s Director for Small & Mid Market Solutions and Partners Group, Haresh Khoobchandani, added, “We believe in providing businesses within the Small and Mid Market business segment with a robust and stable platform that delivers the best value and the lowest total cost of ownership. Our partnership with SAP ensures that the customers focus on obtaining solutions that addresses their business needs and challenges; not on building technology.”

“Today’s announcement is an extension of Sun’s commitment to offer affordable, customer-ready solutions that accelerate ROI for small and midsize businesses. Faster IT deployment can lead to business advantages, therefore customers need a solution that’s easy to install, low risk and highly reliable,” said Cheam Tat Inn, managing director of Sun Microsystems Malaysia Sdn Bhd. “With today’s announcement, Sun will further help customers do what they need to do – focus on core competencies, gain a competitive advantage and prosper.”