SAP Updates Its Midmarket Strategy

Enterprise applications giant SAP, which already counts many of the world's largest companies among its customers, is increasingly looking to the midmarket segment for growth. This is the market segment addressed by the recent update of the SAP All-in-One product, which is built upon technology from mySAP ERP 2005 and SAP CRM. All-in-One now features integrated CRM, BI and analytics, and a redesigned user interface. The new version of SAP All-in-One debuts almost exactly a year after SAP entered the hosted CRM market. SAP's overall strategy is to offer hosted applications to smaller companies, All-in-One and Business One (for companies that need a more generic enterprise app footprint) to midsize companies, and mySAP ERP and SAP CRM to larger companies. SAP has not stated whether All-in-One will eventually include a hosted option. The midmarket space is crowded these days, with competition including Microsoft, Oracle Sage, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, and a host of other companies. SAP's stated goal is to grow its small and midsize customer base to 100,000 by 2010, and to get 40 percent of its license revenue from this segment, as opposed to 35 percent today. Part of SAP's strategy in the SMB segment is to take advantage of a partner ecosystem to customize applications on behalf of customers. This is an approach also taken by key SAP competitor for small and midmarket CRM business Salesforce.com, whose Application Exchange is a marketplace for partner-customized Salesforce.com. apps. All-in-One, while assembled from mySAP ERP and SAP CRM code, does not contain all the functionality of those enterprise-class products. David Bradshaw, an analyst at Ovum says: "One decision we are not sure is entirely wise is the 'simplified' CRM capabilities. Businesses of the size that SAP is targeting with All-in-One can have sophisticated CRM requirements. If All-in-One doesn't meet their needs it will not be adopted (at least for CRM) by them." SAP, however, claims that what it calls the "streamlined" version of CRM in All-in-One is specifically designed for the business processes of midmarket customers across various industries, saving time and effort at the time of implementation. Moreover, customers that want different or more advanced CRM functionality could always turn to SAP partners for customization. In addition to preconfigured business scenarios for midmarket customers, All-in-One comes with roles built in. Role-based functionality allows for the easier population of dashboards and places an identity management layer between employees and what data their job functions allow them to see. Related article: Companies' ERP Wallets Will Get Fatter
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