Last week’s SAPPHIRENOW conference, held by German enterprise software giant SAP, may have seemed like it was just for large enterprises. But with 80% of its customers being small-to-medium enterprises (SME, in SAP vernacular), the company had plenty of ERP for SMBs, as well as CRM for SMBs and other solutions for smaller companies that want to grow.
While SAP had a separate track for SMEs, consisting of sessions and a “campus” on the show floor at the Orange County Convention Center, the company’s commitment doesn’t stop there. SAP has already been very clear about its partners being key to its SME strategy. Now, it’s re-engineering its PartnerEdge website to be more SME-friendly, according to Kevin Gilroy, senior vice president and general manager of global general business segment and indirect channels. This will allow ERP for SMBs to come to the forefront.
“The [PartnerEdge] architecture will give regional decision-making to partners to put in rebates, making the discounting and profitability components better,” Gilroy said in an interview. This will reward SAP’s SME partners by recognizing the value of the transaction, not just the volume. Additionally, it will allow products to be launched more quickly, speeding up cash flows to partners and in turn providing technology faster to SME customers.
SAP Anywhere launches in China
Additionally, SAP also announced the availability of SAP Anywhere, a cloud-based CRM solution built on SAP’s HANA platform, in China for SMEs. Following up with SAP’s commitment to Millennials, the software itself was built for SMEs by Millennials. SAP Anywhere’s front office product aggregates point of sale, omnichannel, CRM, inventory management, product availability and supply-demand matching in one cloud-based product, according to Gilroy.
This CRM for SMBs follows the tagline of SAP for the past couple of years: Run Simple. “The best example is the CEO of a small hospital in Texas who says, ‘when I plug in my electric razor in the morning, it goes into plug…to the nuclear power plant 200 miles away. The nuclear power plant is highly complex, but I plug my razor in and it works.’ You want your application software to be as close to that level of simplicity as possible so you can be the CEO of a hospital, not an IT specialist,” he added.
And that applies to small companies that want to be bakers, retailers, discrete manufacturers – or breweries, according to Gilroy. “They don’t want to be overwhelmed by technology,” he said. They want CRM for SMBs that works quickly and simply.
At the same time, however, they also are being influenced by Millennials who want to access full software on their smartphones, which is what is driving the adoption rate of SME solutions. “It requires us to change the channel model, change the marketing model, and change the speed of deployment and development,” he said. “The SME market is making us think very differently.”