Small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of the economy, creating 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 90 percent of jobs. It’s no wonder, then, that German software giant SAP AG has focused its energies on SMEs, providing software to help them, as their slogan says, “Run simple.” At its fourth annual SME Summit held in New York less than 48 hours ago on Nov. 20, 2014, SAP executives and customers alike discussed the importance of SMEs to the economy and the future of work.

A former small business owner himself, SAP CEO Bill McDermott sat on a roundtable of panelists that included Millennial entrepreneurs and second-generation business owners, all of whose companies are running a version of SAP software. Millennials are greatly impacting the workforce, driving new software purchasing decisions and in some cases being the catalyst for finally upgrading to enterprise-class software packages at established SMEs.

After the roundtable discussion, Kevin Gilroy, senior vice president and general manager, Global SME Segment and Indirect Channels at SAP, detailed some of the ways that SAP’s partners, including system integrators and value-added resellers, help SMEs flourish and busted through the myth that SAP software is only for large enterprises. SAP’s offerings for the small and midsize market include enterprise resource planning (ERP), analytics, database, mobility, cloud and business networks through SAP Business One, Business ByDesign, Business All-in-One, Edge solutions, SAP Lumira software, the Ariba Network from Ariba, the SAP HANA platform and cloud solutions.

SAP’s initiatives to make it easier for SMEs to acquire and implement its software, thus putting these smaller enterprises on the same level as their large competitors, include:

  • A “buy now, pay later” program through SAP channel partners that provides zero percent financing for up to 24 months.
  • SAP HANA 9, which can run on less expensive hardware but still offers the same multi-tenancy capabilities and ability to run multiple applications on the same server, such as SAP HANA, SAP Business Warehouse, business intelligence software and SAP Business Suite.
  • A free connection to the Ariba Network, which is used by over 1.6 million companies in 190 countries, to connect with partners from any application or device to buy, sell and manage cash.