One of the coolest things about my work with Small Businesses is I get to meet a lot of really amazing people. Many. People who care about the Small-to-Midsize Enterprise (SME as it is called in most places outsides the USA). People who are building a small co and people who are serving the small co.
I’m passionate about small companies — often in a protective sort of way — because I am one at the smallest end of the scale, but because I believe they are the very lifeblood of our economy. That’s why I started the Sales Rescue Team and then Sales Kickstart (the webinar series). Most of all, I’ve been served and helped and guided by my fellow entrepreneurs and biz owners.
Thus, when SAP and its terrific PR team came calling, I was skeptical, protective, guarded. What could SAP do for a small company?
“You don’t serve the small company,” I said, but they insisted that they do. This post should have come before yesterday’s, alas, my life and my posts are out of order sometimes…
So here I am in Orlando for the annual customer conference called Sapphire Now. I’m sitting with Pat Hume, SVP Global SME Channel, being converted into a believer. She’s explained how startups and small companies, pre-revenue in some cases (but clearly funded) use the Fast Start program to get a full system up and running. She’s energetically explained how of their almost 100,000 customers, 60,000 of them are small to midsized companies. Pretty significant.
All told, if SAP could clone Pat Hume, they could have another 60,000 SMEs in no time.
I define SME like the US govt does: $100M and below. SAP defines them as $500M and below. A small point, perhaps…, but they do have a growing team focused on the $100M and below market. The point is, though, they seem to get that they need to extend into the smaller enterprises and they plan to do it through resellers, value-added resellers — and that appeals to my SMB/SME sense because the vast majority of resellers are, you guessed it, small businesses. 2, 5, 20 person shops.
Now these resellers are not buying SAP for their own companies, but they are helping bigger companies install and run SAP. Thus, SAP creates an eco-system (I’m not using the term as they do internally here at Sapphire) where small companies can win by helping bigger companies use SAP.
I’m going to profile some of the smaller companies running SAP as well as the partners and resellers that are doing so — since they are small businesses that we can each learn from. These resellers have a lot to teach those of us who are service providers looking to sell into big companies. If YOU are a Small Co using SAP, please contact me with details of how its going. Thanks to all the HARO responses from my urgent request! Hats off, of course, to HARO and Peter Shankman and team for making blogger and journalist lives so much better!