As customers of German business software vendor SAP make their way to the company's Sapphire user event, which opens Tuesday evening in Boston (Wednesday NZ time), they will hear about several new partnerships and customer contracts as well as a new global channel program.
One of the key announcements to be made at the event will be the adoption of SAP's service-oriented architecture, called Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), by several big-name companies, according to SAP spokesman Bill Wohl. These companies will join three others, IBM, Macromedia and Microsoft, which announced ESA-related deals at the European Sapphire show held last month in Copenhagen.
SAP is also using its U.S. user show to launch a new global channel program, called PartnerEdge, which is aimed at small and medium-size companies. Until now, the company's channel program had a strong local focus, with each region more or less developing its own channel strategy, according to SAP spokeswoman Astrid Pölchen.
The PartnerEdge program will include a new tier structure, which allows channel partners to acquire "value points" and move across three levels: associate, silver and gold. The higher the level, the greater the support from SAP, which includes funding and training.
Knowing how big contract announcements help drive sales, SAP will name two big deals on Wednesday: one with a "very large" U.S. bank and another with one of the country's biggest retailers, according to Wohl.
Around 8,500 people are expected to attend the user event in Boston, according to the spokesman. Of these, about 3,500 will be customers and potential customers and 2,500 will be partners. The remaining 2,500 will be SAP employees.
The event will generate around US$11 million in revenue for local businesses, according to Wohl.