TURNING its sights on the lower end of the market appears to have paid dividends for SAP in Asia-Pacific, as it reports that in 2004 it nearly doubled revenue growth in the SMB sector in this region.
But while the software vendor increased its number of partners for its SMB offerings by over 150% in the region last year, it only had five partners focusing on these products in New Zealand for the bulk of the year.
However, Alex Morcom, SMB manager at SAP New Zealand, says 2005 will be the year where the company grows the number of resellers and customers for its two SMB offerings - SAP Business One and mySAP All-in-One, which are exclusive to the channel.
“In New Zealand last year [there] was build up for the SMB business; we were training core partners and investing in the business. This year we will add more partners,” says Morcom, whose appointment last September was part of the company’s strategy to boost its fortunes among small and medium businesses.
“This year we will make an impact and will easily double the business. We are already off to a cracker of a start and have won seven new SMB deals this year so far, while in the last quarter of 2004 we won eight.”
Morcom says the majority of these wins have been over Microsoft Business Solutions suites such as Navision and Axapta.
The company currently has four Business One resellers and two for All-in-One, with Realtech offering both suites, but Morcom wants to add two more resellers for its pac-kage this year.
“We could probably achieve the growth we want with our current partners, but it is also an issue of geographical reach. There are many SMBs in New Zealand and it is hard to reach them all,” he says.
“New Zealand is not a huge market, so we want to ensure we grow our partner base at the same rate as we grow new business, so that it remains profitable for partners.”
Meanwhile, in the Asia-Pacific region SAP reports that it added more than 25 new mySAP All-in-One and nearly 60 new SAP Business One partners in 2004. The company says these new partners helped the SMB sector become its fastest growing market segment in Asia-Pacific, representing more than 60% of new customers.
An average of three new customers were acquired each working day of the year totalling nearly 200 new mySAP All-in-One customers and more than 400 SAP Business One customers during 2004.