SAP Signs Deal to Extend SMB Reach

New deal with HP will let SAP deliver its Business One software across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

At its Sapphire user conference in Lisbon, Portugal, this week software giant SAP AG announced its targeting small and midsized business software sales channels, quicker return on investment for customers and helping financial institutions adhere to regulations.

SAP on Wednesday announced that it has signed an agreement with Hewlett-Packard Co. to deliver the SAP Business One software to SMBs through HPs distribution channel in more than 30 countries across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.

The HP channel program will launch in Germany—home to about 300,000 SMBs—and follow in Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Benelux countries.

The highly sought-after SMB market is notoriously fragmented, particularly in the EMEA region. SAPs deal with HP will put its software in the running with competitors Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp., who have been steadily pushing into the EMEA region.

To help customers deal with the current economic slump, SAP, of Waldorf, Germany, also announced Wednesday a new Global Custom Development Organization (GCDS) that provides development services, such as project management, project assessment, solution design and programming.

The GCDS team will employ a new methodology to reduce implementation risk and to create a better business case for implementation.

To help drive down system management costs, SAP announced a new Solution Management service and support strategy through which companies receive broad support for aligning their business and IT objectives, along with products and services that standardize the implementation, operation and integration of software, officials said.

Recognizing customers impatience with long implementation times, SAP announced its employing a new methodology for Supply Chain Management project implementation.

A multi-step approach accelerates SCM implementation by defining goals based on business objectives—in effect scaling down design and project scope, officials said.

Targeting the financial industry, SAP announced new functionality for its mySAP Banking software that now contains functionality to help financial institutions adjust their business to the Basel II capital risk management regulation and the International Accounting Standards.

The IAS and Basel II regulations are expected to be enforced in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

The Basel II regulation requires banks worldwide to meet standards in the management and reporting of capital and risk.

The IAS legislation standardizes the accounting requirements and regulates financial results calculations for publicly traded companies in the European Union.

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