Questions Over R

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2004-03-19 Print this article Print

/3 & BusinessOne"> At CeBit, SAP will talk about a new license model for either maintaining R/3 or moving forward. Any other incentives there to move those folks along? Sure, a couple of things. First of all, were all about these customers being absolutely excited about doing business with SAP and I really want that to come across. Weve worked so hard at it.
In fact, the customer satisfaction weve got going in North America is the highest in the world, and were very proud of that. The reason for that is we are working with each customer, one customer at a time, on this upgrade conversation.
There are two components: Component number one is to bridge their maintenance strategy appropriately. Number two is to trade them up to the mySAP ERP upgrade, which nine out of ten of them want to do. Step number three is to finalize the business case for each one of our customers. We really studied the nuances and payoffs of this new technology, and now were executing across North America and Canada right now. I speak for North America—Im just the guy for North America, a little piece of the action here. With the introduction of NetWeaver how do you see the company in five years—as an ERP company, an infrastructure company, an integration company? I see [SAP] as a business solutions software company which includes the technology and the integration enablement for these business solutions. So its not an either-or [situation]. Were still going to be the number one software company in the world. Youll have an enabling integration technology built on a Web services architecture thats going to lead the way into a new future, and you will have open standards and scalable standards around a technology layer. [Customers will] not only leverage what SAP can bring to the party, but you also leverage your partners into the solution equation—so youre hitting it on all three fronts. Do you see NetWeaver as a new technology for the installed base or as in integration technology for non-SAP users as well? Both. Its a huge enablement device for the installed base and a spearhead into the competitors installed base. How much of your effort is getting into the installed base? The reality is we have an interest in doing that, but our current strategy is a little more thoughtful than that. What were trying to do is were trying to market intelligently to large enterprise, mid-market and small and medium sized business customers. What we want to do, whether its an SAP or non-SAP customer, is bring solutions that are relevant in those market segments and that are specific to 28 different industries, and are sized in the appropriate way for the buying behavior and those various segments. For example, in the SMB account there are 1.5 million addressable establishments in the United States. They may not be ready for the whole NetWeaver conversation, because they may not have all these disparate systems where that integration conversation is going to be the tip of the arrow. But yet, theyll like [the vision] because they are going to grow up and become more complex over time. They clearly want an affordable solution thats out-of-the-box at an affordable price, that will help run their business better, that they can get immediate time to value on. So, its up and running and theyre off to the races. Two years ago we couldnt do that. Today we have a great solution You mean BusinessOne? Thats BusinessOne. And we also have a great solution by our reseller channel in the mid-market. A customer in the mid-market will typically say, look, I cant get my orders out the door fast enough, and therefore am not collecting enough cash, and my days sales outstanding are going through the roof. Can you help me? Whats really neat is to watch the transformations going on—and the answer is, of course we can. We can specifically for the high-tech-manufacturing industry provide you an order-to-cash solution for this amount of money, [that] can come out of the box and be fully functional. [We] can have it up and running in this time frame and you can have your ROI back in your pocket in six to nine months. Thats how detailed these conversations can be now. Could we do that a year ago? No. How much business are you getting with BusinessOne? In relative terms, its still a small percentage of our overall sales. But it is growing at a 40 percent clip on a year-over-year basis. The other thing is our large international customers are also telling us their satellite locations like the flexibility of BusinessOne, because its fully integrated with SAPs ERP, or Business Suite, and can offer an affordable option for satellite locations. Small companies like it, mid-sized companies and/or large companies will often use it. Next Page: Oracle and Other Competitors


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