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SAP extends try before you buy program for 2015

NEW YORK – This is not your father’s old SAP. At the SME Summit, the German software giant tried to shed its image of being a big, expensive software vendor for the enterprise.

The company is looking to do more business with small and mid-size businesses as well as increase its channel partner network.

Kevin Gilroy, senior vice president and GM, global channels, SAP Global Partner Operations, took out his crystal ball and said SAP in five years will be a cloud company with a bigger, more powerful channel and 10 times more customers.

Currently SAP has approximately 11,900 solution provider partners and more than 263,000 customers. Of those customers about 80 per cent of them at considered by the company to be SME, said SAP CEO Bill McDermott.

Gilroy defines the SME as 1,000 employees and below. He said there is also a combination of revenue, geography and industry attached to that definition. “SMEs can be so different and I hate to attach revenue to it because a hedge-fund can generate $3 billion in revenue with four people. That’s not an SME. But a construction firm with 500 workers and five computers aren’t one either over a healthcare clinic the same number of employees and much more technology. And, an SME in Chile would be different as well.

To further this change in focus, SAP will be extending its try before your buy program for 2015. Carrie Maslen, vice president, small & mid-sized enterprises Global Partner Operations for SAP Americas Inc., told CDN that the program was 100 per cent designed for channel partners. “From day one with this program we thought about the channel and who they can be fully engaged and ready. We encourage with our financing team and partners get paid up-front,” she said.

In this program, channel partners get paid in five days from deal closing, while SAP gets their money in 30 days, Maslen said.

This program was initially launched in March of this year and Maslen added that SAP has seen deal sizes increase for the channel as customers now have an affordable way to run SAP software.

Gilroy said in the SME there are customers who buy on the cloud and on premise. “We have lots of customer like small banks who require a on premise solution and we want to be empathic to their balance sheet by having a mode deliver the product in a buy now; pay later way. It allows for risk mitigation. “The channel can have it up in two week or so and the customer does not have to pay for 24 months. They can run this product for 24 months and this program was not our brain child. It came about from listening to customers and this will unlock revenue for the channel,” Gilroy added.

The program was rollout out in 22 countries including Canada and SAP plans to expand into more nations in 2015. Each region in SAP can use their own financing from a bank or third party.