SAP releases new channel program for Business One

SAP today is expanding its SMB channel direction with the announcement of a new two-tiered program for the recently-released SAP Business One and MySAP All-In-One solutions.

With this plan, a company with revenue reaching $10 million can become an SAP customer. In the past, SAP’s smallest

Canadian customer had to have no less than $75 million in revenue.

“”This is revolutionary,”” said Michel Vincent, vice-president of channel management at SAP Canada. “”The bulk of the companies in Canada are in this range of revenue. With around 10,000 companies (between the $10 million to $100 million revenue mark) that made need a world-class solution,”” he added.

The SAP Business One Solution Partner Program is a global initiative intended to develop and certify partners in SAP Business One, an ERP-lite solution.

The program will also have a provision for independent software vendors, which SAP refers to as solution partners for this program.

Currently SAP Canada has eight solution partners or ISVs, but Vincent believes by the end of the year the subsidiary will have between 12 and 15.

“”Solution partners are different than resellers. They provide additional software that compliments SAP Business One offering because it is a smaller ERP system, and sometimes it may need payroll, project costing, and warehouse management solutions. This is our next step,”” Vincent said.

SAP will also target ISVs with expertise in Internet sales, reporting, logistics, advanced warehousing, customer relationship management (CRM) and data management.

Resellers interested in joining SAP will have to go through a two-tier certification process. Once in they will receive training, marketing and other support, with multiple participation levels.

“”This is not something we started last month. We have invested in partners and it is part of our long term strategy,”” Vincent said.

“”With all the consolidation happening in the market, SAP is a safe harbour for resellers. We are building the best channel in the IT business,”” he added.

Vincent will restrict the number of partners in Canada and will put each one through an extensive review process. SAP will also collaborate with the partner on business plans.

Also part of the channel plan will be MySAP All-In-One solution, targeted at the mid-market of companies with $100 million in revenue or more.

SAP will split software revenue with the channel partner, but it will be up to the individual partner to negotiate margin. Vincent did not want to divulge exact margin figures but said it is competitive with others in the market place. “”They get to do all the consulting and provide the first level of support and they can generate reoccurring revenue from maintenance,”” he said.

SAP Canada has 20 channel partners, six in MySAP and the rest in SAP Business One. One of SAP Canada’s top partners is IDS of Toronto, which used to be called Optimum. IDS recently installed a MySAP All-In-One solution with the help of American reseller Syskoplan at Jones Packaging.

In the next six to 18 months, Vincent expects the MySAP partner base to increase to 15 to 20 partners. All of these partners will have a specific vertical focus such as manufacturing.

As for SAP Business One partners, Vincent sees that network of partners increasing slightly. SAP Canada already has partners across the country for SAP Business One. Vincent is interesting in growing the existing base instead of adding more partners.

Vincent said that SAP does not sell direct in the SMB market, feeling that partners are grounded with customers and understand their business problems better.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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