SAP UK: We can serve SMEs 'just as well as large firms'

SAP can serve small to medium businesses as well as it can large firms, a new UK director has said.

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SAP can serve small to medium businesses as well as it can large firms, a new UK director has said.

SAP targets SMEs

Stephen Read, SME director at SAP UK and Ireland, told Computerworld UK the software maker had an established base of small business customers.

While SAP is still often known as a company that serves large enterprises, Read denied it had to call on that experience to serve its SME customers.

“Our knowledge is from our work with both small and large enterprises,” he said.

This was aided by many of the challenges SMEs faced reflecting those of large businesses, he said.

“Take a wholesaler that’s turning over £100 million and one that’s making £2 billion. Essentially the main difference between them is the amount of goods they sell. But they still both face the same challenges when it comes to developing supply chain intelligence.”

Nevertheless, Read admitted there could be a reputation problem for SAP among smaller businesses, caused by its well-documented presence in large firms. “To an extent we’re a victim of our own success among large businesses,” he said. “But we’re extremely relevant for small to medium businesses.”

SAP has over 1,000 UK customers it categorises as SMEs, including firms earning from £5 million to £500 million annual revenue. It has a range of channel partners that sell software to SMEs exclusively.

Asked whether SAP’s software as a service offering, Business ByDesign, was appealing to SMEs, Read said those firms were just as interested in SaaS as large enterprises, mainly because of the chance it offered to save money.

“SMEs will use SaaS for a rapid deployment and low costs,” he said. “But it’s not their only way to save money. Our channel partners also offer them financing that can cover their on-premise software and even their whole project.”

Grocery distributors British Peppers & Spice and Supercook, mail order firm Morplan, household products firm MarkTwo Distribution and transport company Indigo Lighthouse, list among SAP’s smaller customers.

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