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Scalable Innovation for Small and Midsize Enterprises with SAP’s SME Solution Portfolio

by Paul Clark | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 3

July 1, 2014

SAP has long recognized that a one-size, large-scale solution approach does not fit all. This article looks at the evolution of products that SAP makes for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), from the latest in analytics, to mobility and in-memory technology. 

 

Small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) make up a significant portion of businesses worldwide — in fact, SAP has over 200,000 SME customers, representing 80% of the install base. Recognizing years ago that a one-size, large-scale solution approach does not fit all, SAP introduced the well-known SAP Business One, SAP Business All-in-One, and SAP Business ByDesign solutions, which offer traditional ERP functionality to meet the business management needs of SMEs.

Today, SAP has expanded access to its technology at the right scale for SME customers. From the latest in analytics to mobility and in-memory technology, these solutions enable SMEs to take advantage of the transformative innovations they need to remain competitive with larger enterprises (see Figure 1).1

A selection of products for SMEs from the SAP portfolio

Figure 1 — A selection of products for SMEs from the SAP portfolio 

Essential Business Tools for SMEs

Data drives business, and insight into that data is vital for turning it into fuel for the business. To ensure that its SME customers have access to the essential tools that enable this insight, SAP offers affordable and scalable access to analytics solutions for both small and midsize companies.

Analytics for Small Businesses

SAP Crystal Reports has been a well-known reporting product for over 20 years, and is now an integral part of SAP’s business intelligence (BI) offerings, which include the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite for large enterprises. There is also a broad set of SAP Crystal solutions that are aimed at small companies. Introduced in 2009, these entry-level analytics offerings include reporting products, dashboards, and a BI platform.

Analytics for the Midmarket

SAP’s Edge solutions are based on the SAP technology used by large enterprises, but are priced and repackaged with midsize organizations in mind. The first Edge solution, introduced in 2007, was SAP BusinessObjects BI, Edge edition — a comprehensive BI solution that includes reporting, analytics, dashboards, and data integration tools tailored for the midmarket. SAP then expanded the portfolio to offer Edge editions of information management solutions such as SAP Data Integrator, SAP Data Quality
Management, and SAP Data Services, as well as Edge editions of performance management solutions such as SAP Business Planning and Consolidation.

Broadening the SME Portfolio

Based on feedback from customers and partners, SAP is further expanding its SME portfolio to help small and midsize companies keep pace with innovation and changing business demands. In some cases, SAP has added new Edge editions of offerings such as SAP InfiniteInsight. In other cases, existing products have been packaged in new ways to become accessible to SMEs, like with the visualization starter pack. SAP has also expanded the availability of products such as SAP HANA through pricing metrics that can scale down to even the smallest organizations. Let’s look at some of the more recent additions to the SME portfolio.

Data Visualization for SMEs

Visualization has taken data analysis outside of the traditional realm of BI functions such as reporting and dashboards, enabling users to uncover and share insights in seconds without the need for IT help. SAP Lumira, with its ability to combine and visualize data from multiple sources, such as spreadsheets and databases, in a single, self-service, intuitive view, has seen a sharp increase in usage among SAP customers. To serve its SME customers, as of March 2014, SAP offers a new visualization starter pack based on SAP Lumira that includes access to visualization functionality, a basic BI platform, data exploration capabilities, and mobile delivery of content, making it easy to gain both big-picture and granular insights in a single view.2

Predictive Analytics for SMEs

Predictive analytics can be a powerful aid, enabling organizations to minimize risk and pursue opportunities more quickly, but few would feel confident using it without the help of experts with deep expertise in predictive algorithms — a resource expense that can quickly add up. With traditional predictive analytics tools, experts choose and refine the statistical model that best fits. SAP InfiniteInsight flips the approach: A user simply indicates the business need and the data available, and the solution chooses the best-suited model, enabling almost any user in the organization to become a data expert. For SMEs, as of March 2014, SAP offers two Edge editions of SAP InfiniteInsight, so that customers can scale the solution to their needs: a modeling edition for rapidly building predictive models, and an analytics edition for gaining quick, clear insights into data. 

Data Store Solutions for SMEs

For some time now, SAP has offered a version of SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP ASE) for small businesses — known as SAP ASE, small-business edition — that makes this high-performance relational database management system available to smaller organizations to run solutions such as SAP Business One, SAP’s ERP solution for SMEs. To complement this offering, as of March 2014,  SAP offers an Edge edition of the SAP IQ database to support analytical scenarios for SMEs. This version of SAP IQ enables SMEs to more easily access data warehousing and even big data analytics functionality.

SAP HANA for SMEs

With SAP HANA, SAP offers customers a database option that was never before possible: the ability to combine operational and analytical systems into one. What’s more, since its first incarnation as an in-memory database, SAP HANA has grown into a full application development platform, with in-memory technology at its core. For SMEs, SAP offers three options for tapping into the power of SAP HANA: the full platform for real-time applications and analytics, packaged as SAP HANA, Edge edition; sold with the business application, as in SAP Business One powered by SAP HANA; or just the database with optional add-ons, using the new, more granular pricing that recently became available.

Solutions That Grow with You

While smaller organizations benefit from their inherent agility and flexibility, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to larger enterprises that have the resources to leverage large-scale, transformative solutions. SAP helps SMEs use their size to their advantage, with scalable solutions that make innovation accessible. To learn more, join our active community of SAP customers and employees focused on small and midsize companies by searching for “SAP4SME” on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and visit our blogs at http://blogs.sap.com/innovation/tag/sme.

 

 

1 For a full list of SME solutions, visit www.sap.com/solution/sme/software/overview.html. [back]

2 See www.news-sap.com/sap-offers-smes-greater-choice-and-financial-flexibility-with-buy-now-pay-later-offering/. [back]

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Paul Clark
Paul Clark

Paul Clark (paul.clark@sap.com) is Senior Director of Marketing at SAP, where he is responsible for the messaging and deliverables that describe the analytics and database and technology products from SAP, including business intelligence, enterprise performance management, information management, databases, and in-memory computing. His primary focus is on working with partners and small and midsize customers. Paul has over 20 years of experience in marketing, specializing in product and solution marketing. He holds a BSc from the University of Bristol, UK, and a Management DESS from the Université de Savoie, France.



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