Does SAP Really Want Smaller Businesses?

SAP has for several years had SAP Business One, which is its solution for the Small Business Market. With SAP Business One, sold through a network of SAP partners, you can manage critical business functions across sales, distribution, and financials – all in a single integrated software system.
SAP competes directly with software from Microsoft, IBM, Icode, Intuit, JD Edwards, NetSuite and several other vendors.
Here’s the interesting thing – SAP has not met sales expectations overall. In two of the past four quarters it has not met analyst expectations.
So what’s it going to do?
The International Herald Tribune writes that it would invest as much as Ä400 million over two years on an organization aimed at smaller business clients.
Some analysts said the plan for the investment, which is the equivalent of $520 million, showed that the company had exhausted its lucrative focus on large global corporations.

Is SAP serious about serving the needs of small businesses?
This is a VERY clear example of what I and others have been telling you before. When larger vendors clean the bones off of larger customers they come downstream to feast off of smaller businesses.
IBM, Microsoft, Intuit, Netsuite and so many others have been serving the needs of smaller customers for a long time – many from day one. SAP has not.
I’m not advising you to NOT go with SAP if one of their partners calls upon you, but I am advising you to think carefully about it and ask questions. You want to make sure your relationship with a tech vendor is a long term marriage and not a one night stand.
I HIGHLY applaud SAP’s very informative web site – it’s RICH in information and even has pricing information for various scenarios. If SAP’s web site is indicative of their service – things could be VERY good for their small business customers.

3 thoughts on “Does SAP Really Want Smaller Businesses?

  1. Dov W

    This kind of speculation needs some evidence to back it up. There is clearly big $ in the smb market. I’m sure that SAP would love to get their hands on some of it – the question is do they know how? but your suggestion – that they are looking to make money without serving the customer – needs some objective support, I think.

  2. Ramon Ray, Technology E

    Thanks for your comments Dov. But I didn’t mean to suggest that they were not looking to serve the customer, but for the small business to be careful. Thanks for YOUR watchful eye and taking the time to write. – R

  3. Robert

    While many large businesses are now realizing that the action is in the small business market, few realize how difficult of a market it is to crack. Unlike the enterprise market, where it is easy to indentify prospects and decision makers, the small business market is extremely fragmented. It also has special support needs.

    We shall see.

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