Some Answers about SAP’s Products for the SME Market
One of the reasons for writing this blog is to answer a question I have been asked a few times by customers and prospects and that is “Is SAP Business ByDesign replacing SAP Business One?” In short, the answer to this question is “No.” There are clearly defined roadmaps for each product and this blog will aim to highlight a few of the key product differentiators and also to examine the target market for each.
I work for an SAP Business One re seller and have also been hands on with SAP Business ByDesign at the SAP InnoJam event in Madrid last year so I have a good idea myself on the key product differences. I have also been lucky enough to catch up with some key people within SAP to give their comments on the subject. I would like to thank Eric Duffaut (President of Global Ecosystems & Channels), Greg Chase (Senior Director, Marketing for SAP Business ByDesign) and John Appleby (SAP Business Analytics & Technology Lead at Bluefin Solutions) for their input.
Let’s first look at SAP Business One. B1 is a single integrated solution designed for small to mid sized companies from 5 – 100 users (although there is no upper limit). It incorporates Financials, Sales, Service, Purchasing, Stock Control, Manufacturing, CRM, Reporting and MS Office Integration. The core system is designed to work with a number of Complimentary Modules that offer additional functionality and sit within the core system rather than being separate bolt on’s. These are developed by third party organisations and can be accredited by SAP.
SAP Business One suits organisations in Wholesale Distribution, Manufacturing, Retail, eCommerce and Services. It is licensed on a per user basis and currently runs on a Microsoft SQL Server database although SAP Business One in The Cloud is planned for later in 2012 hosted via partners. The plan is for SAP B1 to run entirely on HANA in release 9.x – See my blog: SAP Business One to Run Completely on SAP HANA
With over 35,000 installations worldwide, Business One is a very stable and affordable solution for businesses looking to enter in to the world of ERP Software. Organisations can benefit from some of the key functionality that has made SAP the Global Market Leader in ERP Software for a fraction of the cost of “Big SAP”.
John Appleby has been heavily involved with SAP HANA and had this to say: “B1 on HANA provides a very simple value proposition which will benefit every B1 customer: Simple affordable hardware, simplification of SAP and fantastic performance – plus no need for Microsoft or Oracle database licenses. Combined with the ability for B1 providers to provide Cloud solutions and licenses to customers, B1 strengthens its position in the SME ERP marketplace”
SAP Business ByDesign is a complete On Demand business solution aimed at mid sized companies. You pay for what you use and available modules include Financials, CRM, HCM, SCM, Project Management, SRM, Compliance Management and Executive Management. It is licensed on a per user per month basis and accessed though a web browser meaning the customer doesn’t need costly servers or internal IT support. As with any On Demand solution, you are entirely dependent on your internet connection so a Leased Line with service level agreements is recommended.
Greg Chase says: “ByDesign’s target market has shifted to larger companies as the feature set has filled out and scalability has been proven. We are seeing customers with user counts between 50 and 500. These kinds of companies also tend to be gazelles, growing and changing frequently, so better able to make use of the adaptability that is a design principle of ByDesign. Skull Candy and Pink Berry are two notable examples. ByDesign is highly focused on services companies, distributors, outsourced manufacturers, and subsidiaries of large companies that fit these parameters.”
So it seems both products have defined target markets with minimal cross over, this is what Eric Duffaut had to say on the subject: “SAP Business One, ByDesign and Business All-in-One are all successful SME solutions in which SAP continues to invest. SAP Business One is a complete ERP solution for small companies – available both on-premise or (new this year) through partners in The Cloud. SAP ByDesign is a complete suite for midsize companies in SAP’s Cloud and largely resold by partners. SAP Business All-in-One is primarily an on premise solution ideal for midsize companies with deep industry-specific or micro-vertical needs. Please see the below slide that does a nice job of graphically, and simply depicting this.”
In conclusion, SAP Business One is ideal for Small to Mid Sized companies needing an easy to use, customisable solution to meet their business needs. ByDesign is great for companies who are expanding rapidly or changing in their dynamic frequently and offers the flexibility of an On Demand solution. The released product roadmap for Business One is detailed and it will be very exciting to see how On Demand B1 and B1 on HANA are received in the marketplace. I also think 2012 will be a very exciting year for ByDesign as Cloud Solutions are accepted in the wider marketplace.