I’m at SAPPHIRE NOW, the annual SAP customer conference. Why is a small and mid-sized company blogger at an event by SAP, you might ask. SAP – that company that serves the Fortune 1000, not the Fortune 5,000. Indeed, SAP invited me to attend to explain how they serve the SME (small and mid-size enterprise) marketplace with a few different SAP products and services. Perhaps, the Fortune 50,000 is more like it.
Frankly, I’m trying to wrap my hands around it, but in just a short time, I can see that they do have a solution for other than the 800 pound gorillas of the world. It is called Business One. It is not new, but it is not well known. SAP is throwing some serious resources behind building awareness of the 50,000 small and mid-sized biz customers already using it. Tomorrow, I talk to a bunch of their customers.
Here are three areas that stood out for me so far:
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is now available for iPhones. At the same time, it is also the first SAP cell phone application designed exclusively for the iPhone. The Blackberry does not appear to be a player yet. Penetration, graphics, and performance made the decision in favor of the iPhone. The app is available on iTunes, free of charge.
Winshuttle, although not for the small company (targeted at the mid-sized co) caught my eye with their iPad application – allowing a simple form access from the iPad to your mission critical data in SAP. Their software helps SAP users across the globe to interact with SAP from Excel and other popular applications (PDF, Word, HTML Web form) without programming.
That’s pretty significant cost savings for companies that don’t want to spend a lot on implementation. In the near future, they are going to offer a small company solution.
Also, I spent an hour with a Business Objects expert who showed me how you can access SAP or data in other databases and graphically showcase it, quickly and easily. I had seen the very cool Xcelsius tool a few years back and recommended it to a client, so I know they have tools out there that the small company can use and leverage to level the playing field by giving you access to your data. Business Intelligence for the Small Company. This is a direct non-aff link to the sales page.
There is simply so much going on at this event it is hard to digest it all. 10,000 people in attendance. Hundreds of exhibitors, tons of demonstrations and tutorial-type sessions.
Read other live bloggers here at the SAP event.
Tonight, I’ll share some insights from Global SVP Pat Hume and her passion for building out the SME channel and serving the growing company – from startup to 500 million.
TJ McCue is founder of Sales Rescue Team focused on helping the SME/SMB company grow its online sales.
Full disclosure: SAP sponsored my trip here (a hotel and plane ticket) to educate me, but as you’d expect, I have full rein to discuss and explore what I find.