SAP’s software options for small businesses may seem confusing – and at times, out of reach. At the SAP SME Summit Americas held last week at its new Hudson Yards offices in New York City, SAP sought to clarify its offerings and provide actual SMB customers successfully using its products. One thing was clear: SAP does have robust offerings suited to companies that have outgrown Excel and Quickbooks.
SMBs are in the same competitive environment as large businesses, which means they have to manage payment options, customers, inventory and distribution through various channels. Customers are more socially connected and expect the same level of service that they’d get from large companies, according to Rodolpho Cardenuto, president global channels and global business, SAP. Those ERP solutions include:
SAP Business ByDesign
Osterhout Design Group (ODG), a high-tech toy company based in San Francisco, was the customer on Business ByDesign, a cloud-based ERP system used by brands like Living Proof. Being a Concur customer was what helped ODG move to Business ByDesign, according to J.P. Moriarty, CFO. “It’s an end to end, tremendously robust system that I pretty quickly saw could give me and the rest of the executive team visibility into the business in real time,” he said of Business ByDesign during a panel discussion. He also cited the modern user interface, which would make it easier for end users to learn how to use Business ByDesign.
Business ByDesign is geared toward companies with 250 to 1,500 employees, according to Barry Padgett, president SMB team, SAP. That may seem larger than the average SMB, but the fact that it’s a pure cloud solution makes it attractive to smaller companies, as evidenced by Living Proof’s use case.
Keep in mind, SAP Anywhere is not an ERP solution. It’s an e-commerce platform geared toward companies with 50-100 employees, according to Edward “EJ” Jackson, senior vice president and general manager, SAP Anywhere. It offers order management, inventory, mobile point of sale, multichannel commerce, customer care and support, and analytics, he said.
The SAP Anywhere customer, micro battery provider Microbattery.com, implemented the software to meet its business to business and business to consumer commerce needs. On the back end, the company still uses Sage CRM, according to Jeff Becker, CEO. However, Microbattery.com is hoping that it will eventually outgrow SAP Anywhere and be looking at SAP Business One or another SAP product, he said.
“SAP Anywhere represents that you don’t have to buy a whole train set, just a car,” Padgett said. The last thing small businesses tend to drop is Quickbooks or another lightweight accounting solution, and SAP Anywhere allows them to dip their toes into a front office solution without having to chuck everything else.
SAP Business One
SAP has pushed SAP Business One as its flagship SMB software and has the customers to prove it. However, at the SAP SME Summit this year, only one panelist was on SAP Business One, Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS). The nonprofit organization, based in Manuas, Brazil, is using the software to manage and control a community-based business in the Uacari reserve that collects, produces and markets seed oils to cosmetic and food companies. FAS had gone from using a paper notebook as its ERP system, according to Andre Ballesteros, institutional development and partnerships.
SAP Business One has provided a huge leap in terms of managing resources, according to Ballesteros. “To succeed, we had to know what we were doing and how much we were spending,” he said. For example, because of the remote location of the Forest Processing Unit in Bauana, Amazonas, which handles the seed processing, the nonprofit needs to be able to track the diesel used to power generators and estimate costs.
Ultimately, the SME Summit helped clarify SAP’s offerings for SMBs, which extend beyond ERP. Other panelists and attendees were using solutions like SAP Ariba, SAP Hybris, SAP S/4 HANA, and SAP Business Objects, although those aren’t specifically marketed to small businesses. It will be interesting to see how the addition of Padgett will affect SAP’s marketing to SMBs and the resulting adoption of products.