Business management and ERP software vendor, SAP, has been expanding its market coverage via its SME software, Business One, growing at double digit rates consistently every quarter.
ARN met up with SAP's SVP of Business One, Luis Murguia, during his recent trip to Australia to visit its 14 local partners and customers.
What’s your objective?
I run the global business for Business One. We bring 1000 new customers globally to SAP every given quarter. More than 70 per cent of new customers that SAP gains in a new quarter come from Business One.
We are expanding the market coverage of SAP globally and we’re getting three times more customers than NetSuite.
I’m here to meet the partner community, understand the things they’re doing and have a conversation with them about what we can do different for them to grow even faster next year.
Which markets are the most successful for Business One?
What makes Business One a very robust solution for the small and medium size companies is that our partner community has built more than 600 industry add-ons. We’re growing very strongly in areas such as retail, wholesale distribution, healthcare and the services industry in general.
We’re 100 per cent indirect business and we’re sticking to this strategy. The product portfolio is expanding, but we’re extremely committed to the partner community and its success.
If you think about what’s happening in the industry, it’s moving the channel to the side. All of these Cloud players are entering with a direct strategy, building inside sales organisations and working renewals directly, but I think this is a very short-sighted strategy.
Many years later, they’ll be building up a reseller model because they were missing the value and market reach that the channel maintains.
In the case of Business One, partners have strong margins, reselling licenses as well as providing services. We want partners to have a very profitable business because that allows us to re-invest those gains into the business, creating a very healthy circle. In most cases, our partners are growing their SAP businesses in double digit figures.
What do some your plans involve in the next few months?
Read more: SAP aggressively targets SMB partners
There’s a lot of discussions and thinking about 2016 at this stage. What has made Business One so strong is our three pillars - SAP HANA has created a tremendous opportunity because it allowed Business One to scale from small businesses with up to 100 employees to companies with more than 500 employees. The second dimension is Cloud and next year we’re going to make it even easier for customers to run it in the Cloud. As an example, we just released our new browser access. The third is mobility. There are close to seven billion mobile devices in use these days and every vendor should have a mobile first policy. We’re going to strengthen our mobile apps especially the areas of sales and service professionals.
What makes Business One different to the competition?
There are 600 micro vertical industry solutions built on top of Business One, specific ready to use pieces of applications that makes the product fairly competitive. We’re also highly localised, meeting different types of legal requirements across many countries.
For example if a business owner in Australia has an associate in Indonesia, they can run the same application, which complies with the specific legislations in those countries. It’s also about innovation, because it runs on SAP HANA we can provide large enterprise level of capabilities in a simple way for small business owners to use too such as powerful dashboards and predictive analytics.
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