NEW YORK, NY – Something big seems to be coming from SAP.
At its SME (small-medium enterprise) summit in New York City, the German software vendor spent much of its time discussing, yet not quite unveiling, an entirely new offering coming for the small and medium enterprise space called SAP Anywhere.
On the one hand, the solution, which is a front-office service with e-commerce, inventory control, marketplace management, customer engagement and analytics functions has already reached general availability in China (out of all places).
On the other, the company has been mum about its North American prospects, with limited reports suggesting that pilots are underway in both the UK and the US.
However, at the summit, CDN managed to pin down EJ Jackson, SVP and GM of SAP Anywhere, who narrowed down release windows of the solution to Q1 2016 for the UK, Q2 for the US, and a surprisingly vague “sometime next year” for Canada.
“We’ve been ambiguous with [the date],” Jackson admitted. He explained that the company wanted to see how things would play out overseas.
In China, a country that Jackson described as “mobile first” and much more e-commerce-driven, SAP partnered with China Telecom to market the solution to SMBs.
In addition to the aforementioned capabilities, SAP Anywhere lets SMBs create their own online stores. It’s designed to give real-time insight into shared inventory and logistics with order management software, can integrate with various data sources for analytics, provide shopping functions, can run both online and offline marketing campaigns and serve as a digital showroom. Essentially, it’s an omni-channel play.
Over there, it is sold as a SaaS platform in a public cloud run by China Datacom, a subsidiary of China Comservice. The solution is accessible via desktop as well as mobile devices.
According to Jackson, SAP is not going after what he described as the “microsegment,” for whom there are many low-cost solutions. He cited one customer that had a 25-person company operating in 40 countries doing e-tail, retail, and wholesale.
“Just think about the complexity that they have to address,” he said. “If you’re an SMB you may fixate on one channel because that’s all that you have resources for. For SMB’s, it’s about eliminating the barriers to revenue growth. We enable the small to act big.”