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How SAP Helps Small and Growing Companies to "Run Live" to Innovate, Transform, and Simplify

by Hernán Marino | insiderPROFILES, Volume 7, Issue 2

April 5, 2016

Hernan Marino

Hernán Marino, SVP and Global Head, Partner & SME Marketing and Communications, and COO Global Marketing at SAP, discusses the creation and growth of the small to medium-sized (SME) enterprise and how this growing contingent helps to fuel the global economy. By introducing three case studies  — David Leadbetter Golf, Edesia Nutrititon, and GRAY Gallery — Marino highlights SAP’s commitment to providing “simple solutions for growing companies” and shows how SMEs are parlaying SAP’s strategy in this market to drive innovation.

Nothing speaks louder than customer success and validation. With this in mind, we are building a strong catalog of compelling small and midsize enterprise (SME) success stories — and we are always looking for more. These tales of success demonstrate how SAP can provide powerful SME solutions at the moment they are needed. We have established the tagline “Simple Solutions for Growing Companies” to convey the importance of simplicity and growth, the two factors SMEs care about most, in how we strive to serve SMEs.

In business, we often talk about inflection points, where certain key elements come together at just the right moment. It’s a time of significant change, a turning point. That’s where we are today in the SME marketplace. First, the SME addressable market is huge — larger than it has ever been. Second, SAP has a diverse portfolio of SME products, built specifically and organically for the SME. Our customer adoption rate and growth validates this second point. In 2015, we added 7,725 net new on-premise SME customers, representing 88% of SAP’s total new customers. That’s nearly 31 net new companies per working day, or four every hour.

Growing Companies

The following collection of three customer stories explores the theme of “Simple Solutions for Growing Companies” from the perspective of three very different SMEs: David Leadbetter Golf, Edesia Nutrition, and GRAY Gallery. I encourage you to read each of these stories. But first, let’s take a look at the state of the SME market today.

According to IDC, there are 79 million SMEs worldwide, constituting 95% of all companies in the world and employing 52% of the global workforce. The projected IT spend of these companies for 2016 is $609 billion. This is a growing market, with more SMEs being added each year. And the creation and growth of these SMEs is what fuels our economy.

It’s a time of significant change, a turning point. That’s where we are today in the SME marketplace.

— Hernán Marino, COO of Global Marketing, and SVP and Global Head of Partner & SME Marketing and Communications, SAP

SMEs want to grow. In fact, according to IDC, they are growing at a rate of two- to four-times faster than larger enterprises. They will not and cannot wait 12 months to see their investment pay off. That’s an eternity for SMEs. They need an immediate return on their investment to survive. So when they look for a solution, it has to be simple to find, with simple pricing and a simple contract. It has to be simple to implement and simple to use. SMEs are all about the business. Everything else is secondary. Recognizing this, we fine-tune our solutions for customers who want to grow today.

It’s clear that SMEs are the growth engine of the economy and that an increasing number of SMEs are looking for the right, simple solution. We live in a technology-driven, global economy where everything is connected. Today’s digital economy presents new challenges and opportunities for SMEs to be more competitive, to know their customers better, and to predict future needs. SAP has a perfect strategy for them. We provide them the same technology on the same platform that our large customers use, but tailored specifically for SMEs. SAP can help companies of all sizes participate in this monumental economic and business transformation.

Simple Solutions

SMEs are also about best of breed rather than “all you can eat.” They want and require fine-tuned solutions that match their needs, not generic offerings. In other words, SMEs need SME solutions. Our SME portfolio reflects just that.

We have fortified our market position with our core ERP solutions for SMEs — SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business One — while expanding in new directions no one would have imagined just a few years ago. Our core suite for SMEs provides a digital foundation for real-time business management, fully integrates the front office (SAP Anywhere) with back-end operations (SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business One), and allows customers to run their business on premise or in the cloud from any device.

Running Live

In the collection of stories that follows, you can read how David Leadbetter Golf and Edesia Nutrition are joining 50,000 other companies using SAP Business One to grow their business. David Leadbetter Golf selected the solution hosted on Amazon Web Services because of the security, auditing, and reporting features it offers, and the business worked with SAP partner Vision33 for the entire life cycle of the implementation. (For more about Vision33’s role, visit

Edesia Nutrition, a nonprofit aiming to eradicate the malnutrition of children around the world, wanted to provide real-time access to all the business’s production, inventory, and financial data to manage operations more efficiently and cost effectively. The nonprofit implemented SAP Business One with the help of Softengine. (For more about Softengine’s role, visit It’s amazing to see how the number of SAP Business One customers has grown over the past 10 years. In 2005, we had 9,000 SAP Business One customers — a far cry from the 50,000 organizations using it today.

SAP Anywhere Will Soon Be Everywhere

The newest addition to our SME portfolio is SAP Anywhere, the front-office solution designed specifically to help meet the dynamic needs of small businesses. We launched SAP Anywhere in China in October 2015 and in the UK in February 2016, and we are looking to have the solution available in the US soon.

SAP Anywhere provides everything a small business requires to run its customer interactions with ease in the digital economy. The native mobile solution was built from the ground up specifically for small companies. It incorporates user-friendly digital tools that manage e-commerce, marketing, customer engagement, inventory management, and business analytics from any mobile device or computer.

SAP Anywhere is going to revolutionize the SME industry. Don’t just take my word for it, hear what Google, PayPal, and Uber executives say about it at Or read how one early adopter, GRAY Gallery, is using SAP Anywhere to grow its business and transform its physical location to “anywhere” via a virtual showroom that offers a welcoming experience complete with visual beauty, transparency, consistency, and speed.

The Power of Partners

I can’t say it often enough — none of this would be possible without our more than 13,000 partners. They augment our solutions and presence with all 300,000 of our customers throughout important markets.

Together with our partners, we are very excited to build a repository of customer success stories. The three stories in the pages that follow are only the beginning of a broad portfolio of success stories that’s expanding every day. And now, we look to you to share your story, because we know you have a great one to tell. Let’s show the world why SAP has the best SME solutions at the right time.

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Hernan Marino
Hernán Marino

COO of Global Marketing, and SVP and Global Head of Partner & SME Marketing and Communications, SAP

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