SAP Aims to Win in SMB

SAP is ramping up its partner business for its Business By Design software as a service offering, and today announced it has signed 21 new partners bringing its total to 43 globally.

Speaking to eWEEK, Hans -Peter Klaey, president global SME at SAP, said the company is looking to more than double its customer base by 2010, the majority of which he said would be through SMBs.

"Right now we have 46,000 customers, of which 34,000 [74 percent] are SMBs, and out of that 29,000 [85 percent] are driven through the channel. We want 100,000 customers by 2010, and 80 percent of this will be into SMBs driven by our channel partners," he said.

Klaey said the company has about 1,000 partners for its Business All in One and Business One offerings, and would be looking for a similar number for Business By Design."We are looking for partners for volume, not volumes of partners," he said. Of the 21 partners signed today five are based in China, five are based in France, three in the U.K. and eight in Germany.

He said end users are driving the demand for SAAS-delivered solutions, something he is seeing across the globe. "There is a range of predictions so far about the [SAAS] market, but the point is that both on-premise and on-demand solutions will co-exist. Customers are asking for a choice, and to win in the market you need to offer both," he said.

SMBs are particularly looking at SAAS because it delivers cost savings which they can then use towards additional sales staff or marketing, he added.

The firm's earlier announcement today regarding a union with Intel for solutions builders and its Fast Start program for Business All in One allows users and VARs to configure their entire solution from an online portal, are ways Klaey said that the company intends to boost its SME presence.