Small, medium-sized enterprises make up 80% of SAP’s customer base, which aligns with the World Bank’s report of SMEs accounting for 90% of all businesses worldwide.
Through the years, SAP has been providing intelligent solutions to small, medium-sized enterprises. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt and challenge SMEs’ business operations and sustainability, SAP has remained committed to helping the huge segment to remain agile as they prepare for the new economy.
In this article, we look into the initiatives of SAP centred on supporting the SMEs to help them adjust to the new market conditions– from offering free access to select products to conducting a global research.
The Oxford Economics Global Research
Entitled “Digital, Resilient, and Experience-Driven: How small and midsize organizations can prepare for the new economy”, the Oxford Economics study in collaboration with SAP involved 2,000 senior executives from SMEs in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific to understand their companies’ priorities, challenges, strategies, and digital progress. Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, New Zealand, the UK, the US, and Singapore were some of the countries surveyed.
Conducted between 27th February and 30th April 2020, the researchers have added a section on the COVID-19 impact mid-fieldwork.
The study reported the following key findings:
- Customer experience matters most, outranking increased profitability and risk mitigation.
- Employee experience is also critical, specifically improving employee performance and retaining top talent, especially at this time of crisis.
- Data to support decision-making is a weak point and the pandemic has exposed it even more.
- Digital transformation is a priority for small and midsize organisations with nearly all saying they will make at least moderate progress within three years.
The study concluded that in today’s ever-changing environment, SMEs are balancing short-term problem solving with longer-term, more strategic initiatives like sustained customer and employee satisfaction and future growth.
To be able to navigate recovery from this global crisis, the report suggests that SMEs need to: organise and coordinate for agility; put people at the center; and become data-driven.
Solutions Designed for SMEs
SAP’s intelligent solutions for small, medium-sized enterprises were recently recognised by IDC.
SAP Business One, the German company’s flagship ERP software platform for SMEs was ranked Leader in the worldwide software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-enabled small office ERP applications market.
SAP Business ByDesign, alongside SAP Business One, was also recognised in the major players’ category in the 2020 IDC MarketScape for the worldwide SaaS and cloud-enabled midmarket ERP applications market. SAP Business ByDesign caters to the fast-growing, mid-market businesses by offering intelligence and automation in a single cloud ERP solution to enable management of financials, logistics, procurement, shipping, and human resources.
Speaking at the online event SAP Global Partner Summit 2020, Rainer Zinow, Senior Vice President of SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign said:
“We always have a 10- to 15-year horizon in front of us.”
“Our mission is to make sure our solutions work best for you – our partners and customers – in the long run. Therefore, we are making technological investments to make sure we get the most out of it for you,” he stressed.
Zinow highlighted that SAP’s deployment method options of on-premise, private cloud, and public cloud remain its competitive edge. He further explained:
“And we offer choice regarding the licensing model, be it a perpetual or subscription-based model. With SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign, we are well equipped for the market.”
At the same event, SAP announced that the company would be offering 12-month free access to SAP Business ByDesign and SAP S/4HANA Cloud to further support partners and customers’ journey to recovery.
SAPPHIRE NOW Reimagined SME Channel
In June, the three-day virtual conference SAPPHIRE NOW Reimagined dedicated a channel for SMEs to help them reimagine and leverage technology to meet the changing customer needs and uncover new opportunities even in the COVID-19 environment.
SMEs were able to gather insights from thought leaders, analysts, and SAP customers such as understanding industry trends, reinventing a product brand, taking a data-driven approach in exploring new markets, and embracing leadership change.
SMEs’ Outlook with SAP
At the 2020 SMB Innovation Summit in February, SAP presented the Business Application Factory concept with general availability planned toward the middle of 2021. The factory is designed for the cloud and tailored for digital use cases implemented by SME partners to build new extensions and apps for SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business One.
Business Application Factory, built on SAP Cloud Platform, provides a unified data model that uses business objects and reuse engines across the entire SME portfolio, which means that partners can build and extend cloud-native applications side-by-side for all SAP SME cloud solutions.
Zinow emphasised the intrinsic value of Business Application Factory for SAP partners as “Build once, reach many.”
“We believe this is a game-changer for our SME partners,” he added.