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SAP Partner Roster Grows in Vertical Market Push
By John Hazard


After launching a channel initiative in 2005 to push its MySAP and Business One software into the small and midsize enterprise market, SAP AG added 590 new partners—an increase of 49 percent—and 100 new solutions in the first three quarters of that year.

The ERP (enterprise resource planning) and supply chain giant has made it a goal for its SME growth, both in and out of the channel, to more than double its enterprise-class growth, and it expects vertical and microvertical solutions driven by partners to help it achieve this goal, SAP officials said.

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“We’re going after deep penetration of industries, to make the solution relevant and valuable to businesses,” said Michael Sotnick, Senior Vice President for Small and Midsize Enterprises.

“We’re saying making a retail solution is good, but not as interesting as having a solution for frozen foods.”

PointerClick here to read more about SAP’s plans for the channel.

The company has established an ecosystem of partners, support staff and channel programs to encourage the development and delivery of unique solutions that will make the vendor’s product relevant and valuable to businesses, Sotnick said.

PartnerEdge, SAP’s channel support program launched in September, rewards partners for both sales and solution development, which is measured by customer satisfaction, staff certifications and case studies, Sotnick said.

Channel Insider Special Report: IT Spending in the Channel

The program encourages VARs and ISVs to focus on their strengths, he said.

“Some may look at themselves as implementation experts and they don’t have experience funding sale organizations,” Sotnick said. “We none the less want to take advantage of their great experience in industry and technical resources. They develop and we work together with our sales team or other resellers to sell it and they still get rewarded.”

PointerHow does Home Depot hope SAP will improve sales? Read more here.

Further PartnerEdge programs will be rolled out during the first six months of 2006.

The program also provides deep collaboration in the development and sales phases, SAP and partners said.

The Channel Insider: Solution Builder

Gary Gauba, co-CEO of Systech Inc., a systems integrator based in San Jose, Calif., recently launched ClearVision, a BPM (business process management) solution for high-tech manufacturers built on MySAP.

During the development of ClearVision, SAP had a staff dedicated to the project for eight weeks and now has a salesperson dedicated to the account, Gauba said. The company has three more solutions based on MySAP in the works for the chemical, retail, and oil and gas industries, which received similar attention.

“SAP is investing a lot of money and attention in satisfying solutions,” Gauba said.

“It’s a real extended team, with the goal [being] to deliver added value to the customer,” he said. “They know that’s how you add value. There’s no shortcut to that.”

     
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