SAP Solutions for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies

SAP Solutions for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies

SAP solutions made to fit your needs. Designed to help you grow.

For many small businesses and midsize companies like yours, achieving profitable and sustainable growth is both an aspiration and a challenge. With “economies of speed” as a distinct advantage, you can adopt a wide range of strategies for maintaining business momentum and outperforming much larger competition. Modern technologies such as integrated business software have become increasingly crucial to helping small and midsize companies gain higher operational efficiency and transparency while setting a solid foundation for future growth. SAP offers a complete portfolio of solutions designed specifically for businesses like yours. By leveraging SAP solutions solutions that best fit your needs, you can achieve profitable growth in a highly dynamic market.

Historically, finding the right business software has been a challenge for small businesses and midsize companies. Often, painful compromises result – from changing the way they do business to fit how the software works, to picking a solution far beyond their means to buy and maintain. Worse yet, many solutions quickly run out of headroom as business expands. SAP brings a portfolio of powerful, integrated business software designed specifically for companies like yours, so you can get the solution that best fits your unique business needs, now and in the future, without compromising your needs and priorities.

A Powerful Combination

To help you manage your entire business more efficiently and with complete transparency, SAP offers two categories of solutions.

Business Management Software

Integrated business management solutions from SAP can automate and streamline your core business processes, such as order to cash, with support from end to end. By unifying your business on a single platform, you can drive higher operational efficiencies across your entire enterprise while gaining the control and transparency you need to move forward.

Business Analytics Software

Business analytics solutions from SAP optimize your company’s business performance and effectiveness by allowing you to instantly see and analyze the situations with complete hard facts – from entry-level reporting and ad hoc query and analysis to executive planning and using dashboards. By tapping into any data source anywhere inside your company, business analytics solutions from SAP transform data into crystal-clear, actionable insights, so you can instantly understand what’s happening in your business and why – and most important, how to respond and plan ahead.

When Used Together

With the unique combination of business management and business analytics solutions from SAP, you gain a powerful advantage: you can become the most efficient at running your operations while being the most effective at managing your business. This is an essential foundation for making yours a best-run business.

Why an SAP® Solution?

Fits the Way You Do Business

You can choose from over 1,000 industry-specific solutions – from wholesale distribution to professional services – that support your end-to-end processes and unique requirements.

Fits Your Budget and Time

SAP® solutions are available with affordable licensing options, from subscription to financing, and with rapid implementation tools to help get you started in just weeks.

Fits Your Level of IT Expertise

SAP solutions offer a wide range of deployment options, from customizable “on premise” to configurable “on demand,” enabling you to make the best use of the software.

Fits the Way Your Employees Work

SAP solutions are intuitive and user friendly, offering role-based navigation and task-based workflows so employees can work efficiently with minimal training.

Fits Your Future Plans

Built on more than 35 years of experience, SAP solutions are both modular and scalable, so you can build and expand at a pace

sap solutions

 

SAP Business One – A Member of the SAP Family

SAP Business One – A Member of the SAP Family

To look through the different offerings of SAP is a simple task as all the components are well structured, carefully considered and fit together perfectly. Let’s have a short look to the SAP portfolio before we start talking about SAP Business One, running integrated into the big SAP systems. SAP addresses the market with solutions for Large Enterprises (LE), for the Midsize Market (SME) and for the Small Business Market (SB). The SAP Business Suite is focusing on LE customer, the SAP Business All-in-One and SAP Business ByDesign is focusing on SME customer and SAP Business One is especially optimized for the SB customer.

The SAP Business Suite comprises the most prominent SAP component SAP ERP (aka SAP R/3 or SAP ECC) and the SAP CRM. Beside these there are components to enrich the offering with some industry common functionality (SCM, SRM, PLM). SAP Business All-in-One is a pre-configured subset of the SAP Business Suite. The SAP Business ByDesign is an on-demand solution, covering ERP, CRM and PSP. SAP Business One is an integrated ERP system, comprising standard modules for all essential areas for enterprise management.

Special Industry Solutions are covering in addition industry specific functionality. Whereas the IS for SAP Business Suite and SAP Business All-in-One are provided by SAP, in SAP Business One industry specific functionality is covered by AddOns, provided by ISVs (Independent Software Vendors).

SAP Business Suite, SAP Business All-in-One and SAP Business ByDesign are based on the SAP NetWeaver Platform. SAP NetWeaver includes SAP BI (Business Intelligence), SAP PI/XI (Process Integration), SAP Mobile Infra Structure and SAP Enterprise Portal.SAP Business One is a .NET solution. The platform SAP B1i framework is the SB equivalent to SAP NetWeaver. Both stacks are harmonized and are interacting via ALE, RFC and HTTP based protocols.

Because of this common infrastructure, all the SAP applications can run seamlessly integrated. The smooth interaction between different SAP applications is very important and allows customer a well integrated, full SAP solution for many valuable use cases. The most prominent use case is Subsidiary Integration, covered by SAP Business One and SAP Business One integration for SAP NetWeaver (B1iSN). It is SAP’s offering to all its customers to integrate their smaller sites like subsidiaries, suppliers, operating divisions, trading partners, franchises etc.  Also SAP Business One, running on a SB customer site often needs integration to e.g. suppliers, which are running SAP Suite components. This use case is covered by the SAP Business One integration Framework (B1if). Through the B1i framework, is it B1iSN or B1if, SAP Business One is talking to any of the SAP applications and to the components of SAP NetWeaver.  B1i is very flexible and can apply to the customer’s overall landscape and policies. Especially for customers running an R/3 system only, not having an SAP NetWeaver stack, B1i supports direct communication via RFC and ALE. Depending on the customer’s needs, B1i can integrate via the customer’s PI/XI even to other 3rd party systems in the landscape via the common HTTP based protocols like SOAP, Rest, etc.

The two RFC modes RFCA and RFCP are supported by B1i. Via RFCA (active) B1i is able to call BAPIs and any customer specific function modules in any of the SAP systems. Means whenever some individual data is missing in a project, you can easily develop a small ABAP program, check it to be remote accessible and then you call it from B1i to retrieve the appropriate data. The B1i framework comprises also components from SAP NetWeaver, e.g. the report engine and the RFC library. The RFC library allows B1i to be an RFC Server, waiting in a passive mode for incoming IDOCs, sent out by ALE from any SAP system. IDOCs can be sent out automatically, triggered by the change pointer in ALE or explicitly via a transaction in the SAP system. Prerequisite is to define the B1i server as a logical system in SAP and to configure ALE to send changes in particular objects via ALE to the B1i server.

Beside the RFC mechanism, SAP Systems are providing service oriented interfaces to send and retrieve data. These protocols are HTTP based and have different flavors, like SOAP or Rest services. The message structure is following the SOA conventions. For SAP Business Suite components SOA enablement is done inside the SAP NetWeaver stack; therefore SAP NetWeaver is mandatory for SOA based integration to any component of the SAP Business Suite. SAP ERP is providing the SOA enablement from on SAP ECC 6.0 (EhP). B1i supports all four types of SOA integration (one way, request/response, notification and solicit response).

As we saw, the technical basis for integrating SAP Business One to any SAP system via different options is given. In case you want to use an Out-of-the-Box scenario, shipped by SAP, you need to double check with your customer if the BAPIs, Function modules and IDOCs (ORDERS05, DEBMAS05, DELVRY03, BAPI_CUSTOMER_GETDETAIL2, …), used in the particular scenario are supported by the particular SAP backend system. For using the SOA based integration scenarios, you need to clarify with the customer if the interfaces (e.g. MaterialERPWarehouseManagementViewReplicationRequest) are available and active. Especially SAP ERP software is highly customizable. Therefore you also need to clarify if the existing interfaces (e.g. ORDERS05) is modified. The Out-of-the-Box scenarios are typically based on the standard interfaces. In case these interfaces are modified, you have to create your own integration scenario by copying the standard scenario into the customer namespace and then to apply the modifications to the transformation rules, which basically should be a minor issue. As a rule of thumb you can say, that the interfaces, used by SAP for Out-of-the-Box scenarios are mature and available for a long time. This guarantees a high coverage of existing SAP systems in the market, even the support for the old SAP R/3 releases.

SAP Helps Small Companies Start Smaller to Gain Greater Business Efficiency

In a move to better meet the needs of even the smallest of companies, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced the availability of starter packages for the SAP Business One solution.

 

SAP channel partners now can offer a fixed-price, small-scale option for companies needing to equip only one to five users with business software.

 

Offered at a reduced price, the SAP Business One Starter Package comprises the basic finance, sales, purchasing, customer relationship management and inventory functionality databases that small companies need to run their businesses. The software is ideal for those that need more than standard accounting or non-integrated business software and understand the benefits of a fully integrated business management solution. When they eventually grow and need to add more users, customers simply can upgrade to the standard edition of SAP Business One at any time, without having to reconfigure the software.

 

“With SAP Business One, we now have a complete solution that covers our entire business operation, and will scale with us as we grow,” said Klaas Scheffer, managing director, VenloPack. “As for return on investment, we expect to see that in only six months.”

 

The starter package is available for all countries and languages supported by SAP Business One and is initially offered as a pre-packaged solution for specific countries. Additional countries are planned to be added during 2011.

 

Depending on the scope of the project, the starter package can be implemented between 10 to 15. SAP is launching the packages based on feedback from channel partners that were seeing strong response to similar scaled-down offerings in several of these regions, especially among start-up companies. The starter packages also can create new opportunities for software solution providers (SSPs) to help value-added resellers (VARs) expand sales.

 

Sold in over 80 countries and available in 40 country versions and in 25 different languages, SAP Business One is delivered and supported through the extensive network of authorized SAP channel partners, and is trusted by thousands of customers worldwide.

 

Looking beyond mobile device management

Mobile device management as a platform for increased efficiency

“I have been working in stealth mode over the past few months, collaborating with industry experts to create new content on trends and topics that are important in the mobile industry. I am excited to introduce you to the new “Mobile Sense” thought leadership series. Mobile Sense will be all about making sense of enterprise mobility topics, trends and issues. We’ll introduce new topics to you on a monthly basis via whitepapers, webcasts, chats, blogs, podcasts and more.

 

The first whitepaper in this series is about looking beyond mobile device management to ‘Enterprise Mobility Management’ (EMM). I love the term Enterprise Mobility Management because it takes what we commonly have referred to as mobile device management (through our Afaria product) and tells the broader story of what an enterprise really needs to think about when managing and security mobile data and devices. I hope by sharing this with you that you will broaden your perspective on what you really need in your enterprise.

 

The paper was written by mobility expert and thought leader Philippe Winthrop of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation. In the ‘Looking Beyond Mobile Device Management to Enterprise Mobility Management’ whitepaper (link to be shared soon), Philippe discusses how over the last 18 months we’ve seen an important shift where organizations are now increasingly looking beyond just mobile email to create and deploy a wide variety of applications that connect to the organizations’ back end systems and help mobilize internal business processes. Because of this shift, IT departments also need to shift the way they look at traditional mobile device management.

 

Today’s highly mobile workforce faces a number of new challenges that they did not face before – most notably the greater need for information loss protection and prevention. Philippe discusses how in order to address these potential risks, IT decision makers are have been turning to “mobile device management” solutions.  The problem is that the term Mobile Device Management (MDM) is often misused and misunderstood. It is my mission to share with you how MDM and EMM are different – and why you should think about the broader requirements of EMM when considering your strategy.

 

I agree with Philippe that it seems that over the last year or so “Mobile Device Management is being used as an umbrella term for all things related to mobility management”.  I think we have lost focus on the important issues at hand.  When talking about “mobile device management,” we have forgotten about the broader story of enterprise mobility management. Philippe outlines that EMM is all about:

  • Mobile Inventory/Asset Management
  • Mobile Application Management
  • Mobile Security
  • Wireless Expense Management
  • Mobile Operations Management
  • Mobile Help Desk

 

This is a big topic, so I’ll pause and stop here for now. In my next post I’ll talk a bit more about each of the areas of EMM, and I’ll share the link to the full whitepaper.  Stay tuned for a webcast on this topic in early September where Philippe Winthrop will share his thoughts. Registration will be coming soon and I’ll share the link here.”

 

Milja Gillespie is the director of mobility at SAP and drives thought leadership programs for the company’s leading edge mobility products.

SMEs are rapidly adopting SAP’s SME Solutions

Small Businesses and Midsize Enterprises Are Rapidly Adopting SAP’s SME Solutions

When Allison’s Pantry, a $10 million specialty foods and baking company, outgrew its accounting software and needed to improve visibility into its operations through a truly integrated, company-wide solution, it turned to SAP Business One, part of SAP’s SME Solutions. When Johnson Products Company took over a line of business from Procter & Gamble and needed a business management system quickly, it implemented SAP Business ByDesign. And when Abiomed, an $85 million medical device company, needed to increase visibility into its manufacturing operations and support growth, it selected SAP Business All-in-One. All of these projects went live very rapidly — ranging from a couple of weeks to less than six months.

 

Such successes from small and midsize enterprises (SME) are repeated many times every quarter, but they almost always surprise people who usually associate SAP software with large enterprises. It’s SAP’s best-kept secret: Approximately 80% of SAP’s 105,000 customers fall into the SME category, and a large number of SAP’s SME customers have fewer than 100 employees. On average, 22 new SME customers choose SAP solutions every day.

 

In this post, I’ll explain why SMEs are flocking to SAP’s solutions, what impact these solutions are having on their businesses, and what this might mean for your business.

 

Smaller Doesn’t Mean Simpler: Solutions Tailored to SMEs

Contrary to some opinions, being smaller doesn’t relieve SMEs of demanding business requirements; for example, the US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t grant special approvals for smaller firms, nor do Walmart and Toyota relax their standards for smaller suppliers. SMEs have to find powerful solutions to address their specific needs at a fraction of the cost and complexity of full-scale ERP implementations. So what are these specific needs, and how does SAP address them?

 

Execution

Unlike larger enterprises, SMEs usually sell a narrow range of products and services to their customers and have more limited resources. As a result, their risk tolerance is low, and they don’t have much room for error. Continued success lies in a sharper focus on execution through developing two key capabilities:

  • End-to-end visibility into businesses processes, so issues can be identified and addressed quickly
  • An integrated business system that eliminates silos, so operational metrics can be measured and tracked to enable a system of accountability

SAP has developed a portfolio of targeted solutions that address both these issues and are specifically designed to enable its SME customers, from small start-ups to established midsize businesses, to select a solution that best fits their needs

 

The Best Things Come in Small Packages

The above examples show that SME customers are looking for systems that provide them with end-to-end visibility into business processes, eliminate departmental silos, support growth, and deliver business insights — but at a lower cost of ownership than typical ERP and BI solutions. SAP addresses these needs for small businesses by:

  • Packaging the basic functionality  directly into the software and adding components such as mobility and business analytics. For example, the SAP Business One starter package contains all the core functionality that a small business needs around logistics, finance, sales and purchasing management but then adds Customer Relationship Management, Business Analytics and mobile access to data via an iPad or iPhone – previously beyond the reach of most small businesses.
  • Packaging numerous prebuilt, preconfigured, and pretested best practices templates directly into the software solutions and componentizing them so users can pick and choose the functions they need. For example, SAP Business All-in-One contains industry best practices for business processes — such as purchasing or build-to-order manufacturing — to help small to midsize manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and service companies deploy a tailored, enterprise-level business management solution quickly and affordably, and yet be positioned for growth without the solution becoming a constraint.
  • Creating specific programs to further accelerate deployments. A specific example is the SAP Business All-in-One fast-start program, a product of collaboration among SAP and several hardware partners to bring software and hardware into one pre-integrated, pretested package. As a result of such programs, a typical deployment of SAP’s SME solutions can be reduced to a few weeks. To make it even more affordable, select partners in the fast-start program offer a subscription-based hosting option.

 

SAP’s SME Solutions Can Benefit Large Companies, Too

Many large enterprises are also turning to SAP’s SME solutions for their smaller subsidiaries or affiliates. Using the SME portfolio as a cost-effective alternative to implementing a large ERP system to connect their subsidiaries to a main business network, large enterprises can provide the same level of operational excellence they have at their headquarters to their smaller subsidiaries, distributors, and business partners, while gaining the visibility needed to make better, faster decisions company-wide.

 

For example, Checkpoint Systems, Inc., with revenues of over $770 million, used the SAP Business One application to launch its new franchises and network them to company headquarters, which runs SAP ERP. The franchisee sales reps use SAP Business One to manage all of their job-related processes from order to cash. Their orders flow back to the SAP ERP application at Checkpoint, which ships directly to the franchisees’ customers from a central warehouse for delivery in 24 to 48 hours. When it introduces new products, Checkpoint downloads updates across the business network to SAP Business One users. Now it has the best of both worlds — a central company focused on large accounts, and a network of franchises serving the “mom and pop” stores. This penetration across all retail segments allows Checkpoint to sell to everyone and expand its business.

 

SAP Sets Sail for Innovation

As technology provider for the Kieler Woche 2011 and Sailing Team Germany, SAP is showing its customers that the benefits of real time data analysis are independent of whether a business operates on land or on water.

 

Like businesses, sailors need the latest information to make strategic decisions – but they need it even faster. One wrong tack, a false estimation of the current, or the slightest wind shift can cost the skipper the entire race. As premium sponsor of the Kieler Woche 2011, and co-sponsor of Sailing Team Germany (STG), SAP is showing how innovative IT solutions providing real time data analysis can give teams the competitive edge.

 

Multimedia Sailing Experience Puts Spectators in the Cockpit

 

Watching a sailing race has often been compared to watching grass grow. At the Kieler Woche 2011, the world’s largest sailing regatta, held June 18-26 off the shores of Kiel, Germany, SAP will show how software can help improve the live experience for the spectators of sailing races and also provide teams with greater insight into sailing tactics in order to make strategic decisions for performance optimization and improvement.

 

Following sailing competitions is more complex than with other racing disciplines because skippers often take tactical decisions based on wind, current, and position that take the boats far afield from each other. Clarity about who is ahead, gaining, or losing ground usually comes only at the rounding of the racing buoys or at the finish line. SAP will deliver the technology to support real-time tracking of the boat locations with respect to each other and the race buoys, enabling determination of which boat is ahead at any time.

 

To achieve this, a majority of the boats will be outfitted with GPS transmitters that broadcast their position every 1.8 seconds, enabling real time determination of their direction and speed. Because changes in wind direction directly influence the relative position of the boats, data about wind direction and strength will also be collected from motorboats positioned at fixed locations around the race course.

 

Live analysis of the data will enable a three-dimensional visualization of the position of the boats to be presented in real time, making possible live reporting of the event in the Internet and on television. The 3D tracking in combination with cameras, plus the analytics data will provide sailing fans on land and on the water greater insight and a new way to experience the racing action.

 

According to Stefan Lacher, head of technology for the SAP Sailing Program, “the data evaluation software is based for the most part on standard solutions and technology from SAP, which has been adapted specifically for competitive sailing.” Data collected from the regattas will for example be analyzed after the races with the help of SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence solutions.

 

At the end of each racing day, sailors, coaches and spectators will be able to access a series of interactive dashboards and reports to assess how each team performed at any stage of any race. This Race Analysis Suite will enable the sailors to evaluate and optimize their strategy for the next race. “Those who want to win have to do a few things better than the rest,” says STG Academy director Marcus Baur. “And SAP provides us with just the solutions we need to perform better every time.”