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SAP Provides Additional Revenue Potential for SME Ecosystem Members
Variety of Collaboration Options Provides More Opportunities to Work With SAP
More than 4,500 companies have already joined SAP's growing SME ecosystem and thus taken up one of three options to collaborate with the German-based software company. The three programs that have been proven to be important pillars of SAP's strategy in the midmarket are the SAP® Referral program, the SAP® Extended Business program and the SAP® PartnerEdge(TM) program.
Gaining Additional Revenues With the SAP Referral Program
Announced last year (see April 2, 2008 press release, titled "SAP Expands and Supports Ecosystem by Rewarding Companies Worldwide for New Business Recommendations" ), the SAP Referral program, open to SAP partners and non-partners, has already drawn more than 1,500 members who have generated nearly 1,000 leads. The success of the program is based on easy access to additional revenue potential for participating companies. Furthermore, companies can use the SAP Referral program as a starting point for their relationship with SAP, and might consider working more closely with the vendor as a second step.
"As a successful business intelligence (BI) provider, we are a trusted advisor to our customers," said Mark Stringer, managing director at Maven Solutions, a BI solution provider based in Manchester, UK. "The SAP Referral program now provides us an opportunity to refer our customers to a solution we see fit, be it SAP Business One or SAP Business All-in-One. This program helps us to provide additional value to our clients while rewarding our consulting efforts with additional revenue streams."
Building Long-Term Relationships With SAP Extended Business Program
Companies associated with SAP partners can take part in the SAP Extended Business program. Only six months after its introduction in June 2008 (see announcement, titled "SAP Further Extends Its Ecosystem to Benefit SME Customers, Prospects and the Partners That Serve Them"), the program has nearly 300 members. SAP created the program to grant companies who regularly recommend, implement or develop SAP solutions access to the highly successful SAP partner network, as well as allow those companies to become directly aligned with SAP. At the same time, the program allows SAP to support its partners in building their own ecosystem, expanding their own business and thus driving revenues for sales or implementation. This is also a business benefit for associated organizations that in addition will get the same training and education as their SAP channel partner colleagues - whether in going-to-market or providing consultation services, implementation or developing new solutions.
The Italian consultancy Spin Consulting S.r.l. joined the program as a pilot member in 2007, and shows that advantages particularly smaller system integrators can get from the program.
"We work in daily partnership with the SAP partner Infracom Consulting and given the work that we were already performing, the logic to liaise more closely with Infracon and SAP itself was immediately apparent," said Andrea Righetti, president, Spin Consulting. "We realized it was important to make it easier to acquire and maintain all the necessary skills to fully manage and complete SAP projects for our small-business customers. In retrospect, joining the program was definitely worth it."
Providing Value With SAP PartnerEdge Program
The traditional way to partner with SAP in the midmarket is to sign a solution reseller contract for the award-winning SAP PartnerEdge program. This program, which currently supports more than 2,500 partners serving small businesses and midsize companies, recognizes and rewards partners for their expertise and commitment to delivering SAP solutions to their customers. It offers access to world-class resources, services and benefits that help partners build and maintain a successful partnership with SAP and their customers. The program was introduced for the midmarket in 2005 (see May, 18, 2005 announcement, titled "SAP Introduces World-Class Channel Program for Global Partner Network Serving Small and Midsize Businesses"), and due to its great success it has been expanded to partners in the large enterprise segment in 2008 (see May 5, 2008 announcement, titled "SAP Embraces Business Objects Partners and Demonstrates Benefits of Expanded Partner Ecosystem").
Valuing the entirety of assets that partners have to offer is one of the reasons why the SAP PartnerEdge program is industry-leading. Proof to the success of the program is the number of partners choosing the SAP vendor program over other offerings in the market. Companies that chose SAP for this purpose include Michigan-based Crystal Clear and Galaktika, based in Russia.
A good example of the program's performance is the Russian systems integrator NORBIT, which signed an SAP PartnerEdge contract in late August 2007. Within six months, the company became a silver partner and has recently become a gold partner. NORBIT is also the first value-added reseller (VAR) in Russia to build up its own network of members of the SAP Extended Business program.
"Working with SAP has been a great experience," said Anton Chekhonin, CEO, NORBIT. "Since SAP PartnerEdge not only recognizes revenue goals but also factors like customers satisfaction, we feel that working with SAP really helps us to improve client relations and make our business more sustainable."
"SAP continues to find ways to enable companies of all sizes to be as successful as possible in working with SAP," said Patricia Hume, Global SVP of Channel and Alliances for SME, SAP. "This collaboration was created to help midsized companies access the right offerings for their specific needs. In today's fluctuating market, SAP's vast partnering options give our partners additional revenue opportunities, and our customers will gain added value through offerings to help them manage their business processes more effectively. Throughout 2009, we will continue to develop the capabilities of our existing partners through intense enablement programs as well as to expand our entire ecosystem and we are confident that our innovative programs will help us to attract the right companies."
About SAP® Solutions for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies
With more than 64,000 small and midsize customers worldwide, SAP is a leading provider of business applications and an established and highly successful player in the small and midsize enterprise (SME) market. SAP offers a broad and innovative solution portfolio for small businesses and midsize companies to meet the heterogeneous demands of SME customers. SAP solutions for small businesses and midsize companies include SAP® Business One, a single integrated application for successfully managing small businesses; SAP® Business ByDesign(TM) , the software industry's most complete, integrated and adaptable on-demand solution for midsize companies; and SAP® Business All-in-One, a customizable and extensible solution for midsize companies with deep industry best practices built in. Sold, implemented and maintained through SAP and an expanding network of qualified partners, all of the solutions are competitively priced, easy and quick to implement and scalable to customers' growing business needs. The SAP solutions specifically designed for SMEs help enable small businesses and midsize companies to lower operating costs, improve operational excellence, gain better business insight and control, and grow their businesses flexibly. Additional information is available at www.sap.com/solutions/sme
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