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SAP has launched a new division focused solely on small-and-medium enterprise, referred to as the SMB Solutions Group, the tech vendor announced Thursday. The group, which Albert Pang of Apps Run the World reports will include 20 Palo Alto staffers and 600 developers in China, is led by Dean Mansfield, formerly of NetSuite. The goal of the division will be to create a new product for SMEs that “redefines the nature” of small-business software, Mansfield says.
“The needs of customers, employees and partners in (the SME) space are different from the day-to-day operation model at SAP,” Mansfield adds.
In its portfolio, SAP already of course has SAP Business One, of which it claims more than 43,000 customers, Business All-in-One for the midmarket and Business ByDesign. In today’s Q2 investor call, SAP CEO Bill McDermott called Business One running on HANA a “serious category killer.”
So if Business One is that great, why the need for this new group at all?
“Business One fits a purpose. It’s a very successful solution for SAP—a really good solution in its marketplace,” says Mansfield. “But I think we can do better.”
None of those products will go away. His team, Mansfield says, will continue to operate those current SME-oriented offerings and any new development will be “additive.” In fact, the timeline for this new product isn’t yet laid out, with no defined roadmaps currently in place.
What might this new SME solution look like? Mansfield envisions a sort of a la carte style for small businesses, where they can “pick and mix” the areas that fit their needs—which he says is different than SAP’s current SME competitors, where buying CRM or an entire enterprise suite is the only option. SAP wants to offer customers an option where they can purchase, say, a marketing license only, he says.
This future product is expected to draw on input from current SAP SME customers and partners, as well as Mansfield’s own experience at NetSuite.
One big quote of note here – everything his team builds will be built on the SAP HANA database. But he says he will get to pick and choose which SAP products he wants to leverage. For example, if he feels a certain part of SuccessFactors works for SMEs—say something like time management—then he can build on that without having an SME HCM offering that is just a copy of SuccessFactors. The goal is to create something new and unique.
“There’s got to be a better way than the way this industry is continuing to operate,” Mansfield says.