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SAP offers incentives for Business One partners

With release of new version of the software, VARs to get boost for fourth-quarter deals

SAP hopes to spur partners to push sales of its Windows-based Business One enterprise resource management suite with an end-of-the-year financial incentive.

The company will add a 25 per cent credit for back-end volume rebates and MDF funds for deals closed before the end of the fourth quarter. Jeffrey Watts, senior vice-president of channels and marketing for SAP Canada, said the bonus will help Business One partners will reach their sales goals earlier.

“We put a channel-specific spiff in place to help them earn more dollars to invest to continue to drive market share,” he said.

The move is being made in conjunction with the Nov. 16 release of the latest version of BusinessOne, the company’s application for managing sales, finance, purchasing and inventory of small and medium businesses.

The suite competes against Microsoft’s Navision, PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards (both now owned by Oracle), Sage ERP and others.

Watts said the new edition includes enhancements that will please its 20 Canadian partners, such as faster implementation, a more customizable interface and tool tips.

An implementation tool called Copy Express lets partners copy custom reports, queries, settings and configurations for re-use, reducing set-up time.An updated software development kit will allow partners to build vertical solutions and custom applications.

Potential buyers will be interested in XL Reporter, a financial analysis tool purchased by SAP and been integrated into Business One. It allows users to leverage Microsoft Excel for reports as well as dashboards of key performance indicators.

The application also includes the ability to support documents such as invoices and purchase orders in 14 languages. Users can assign a language to a customer’s displayed or printed documents.

“We think (Business One’s) new functionality makes a big difference in speed of implementation and ease of use,” said Watts.

Although not an application sold broadly, Watts wants to increase the number of Business One partners here by at least five and possibly 10 by the end of next year. The company just signed Unison Business Solutions of Vancouver. The name of a newly-added partner in Winnipeg will be released shortly, Watt said.

More partners will help the company reach its goal of having 3,000 Canadian customers by 2010. Watts said there are about 300 Business One customers here now.

In particular, he’s looking for VARs with experience in business applications in the Maritimes, northern Ontario, northern Alberta and Victoria.