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VAR offers SMBs free extreme ERP makeover

Contax will provide up to $1 million of SAP software and consulting services to a winning business

Toronto-based solution provider Contax, Inc. has launched a marketing contest offering a winning small or medium business up to $1 million in SAP (NYSE: SAP) software for enterprise resource planning (ERP).
The grand prize for the contest includes SAP Business All-in-One software licenses up to $500,000 based on SAP list price and consulting services to implement the software up to $500,000 provided by Contax. SAP’s all-in-one offering includes ERP software as well as customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) solutions.

The contest officially launched on July 1, and will continue until Sept. 30. The promotion is open to Canadian and U.S. businesses who generated less than US$250,000 in revenue in the last fiscal year. Entrants apply online and have less than 500 words to explain why they deserve the “extreme ERP makeover.”

“We are focused on SME (small and medium enterprise) companies,” said Michael Pearson, president of Contax. “That’s where our business is.” The response so far has been excellent and the company has received many entries.  This is the first promotion of its kind for Contax, and Pearson said it is, to his knowledge, the first of its kind among similar channel partners. SAP has been providing support with market development funds and marketing advice, Pearson said.

“Obviously we’re looking to generate interest and publicity for the software and solutions that our company provides and that SAP offers as well,” Pearson said. Contax could potentially gain new customers through this promotion as well. SMBs probably understand the challenges that are there, he said. “They just may not have the funding available to address those challenges.”

“We find that one of the challenges of dealing with SMEs is where are they and who are they and how do you contact them?” he said. There are tens of thousands of these businesses that are just difficult to reach out to, he added.

For this initiative, Contax has been using social media sites including Facebook and LinkedIn to promote the contest as well as advertising with trade organizations. The company is essentially targeting anywhere where SMB leaders including CEOs and COOs would look for information.

“What we’re really looking for is the greatest impact,” he said. “How can we help a company become more successful, more profitable and we’re looking for someone who can articulate that vision.” In other words, Contax isn’t looking for entrants who explain how SAP software can help them keep doing what they’re already doing. Instead, they need to be clear about how it could help them grow.