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Visitors to SAPPHIRE NOW from Orlando will notice something’s changed about the show floor, compared with last year.  There are more sessions, more exhibitors, more overall excitement.  And it looks different.  The campuses are in the middle of the show floor this year, and are flanked by the exhibitors’ booths, rather than the other way around.  There’s a new Cloud Campus.  And an expanded Run Better Campus showcasing industry, line of business (LOB), and role-based solutions. 

But there isn’t an SME Campus – even though SAP is more invested than ever in the success of small and medium enterprises.  Close to 80% of the SAP application software customers worldwide are SME customers.  We recently announced new versions of the SAP Business One solution – partner-managed SAP Business One OnDemand.  We’re bringing real-time analytics powered by SAP HANA to the SME market with Analytics for SAP Business One powered by SAP HANA and SAP HANA, Edge edition.  Surely we must be planning to highlight these and other solutions from our SME portfolio at SAPPHIRE NOW!

I asked Dawn Crew, SAP Global Vice President of Ecosystems & Channels Solutions Marketing, what happened to the SME Campus.

Q.  Why isn’t there an SME Campus at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference?

A.  Our customers told us that it was most important to show how we can help companies of all sizes solve their business issues.  They want us to focus first on their business challenges and technology needs, and then to show them how our solutions are appropriate for a company within their industry, or of their size (whether large or small).   They want to hear how other similarly sized companies have successfully solved business problems.  But at the same time they’d like to benefit from the experience of larger companies.  And, larger firms want to hear how these smaller, nimble firms are leveraging technology in new and creative ways – a win-win. 

Let’s take cloud computing as a first example.  SMEs were a driving force behind the growth of this market, because cloud solutions don’t require a large upfront investment in software and IT infrastructure, and it’s quick and easy to get up and running.  But larger companies are catching onto the benefits of cloud computing – to the point that SAP now has a full portfolio of cloud solutions for companies of all sizes. 

Conversely, look at SAP HANA.  Initially developed in collaboration with some of our largest customers and partners, our small and midsized customers clearly stated that they wanted a smaller-scale version to help them tackle their Big Data issues.  So in February, we introduced two new offerings that bring the benefits of the SAP HANA platform to SMEs.

Sure, we could have established an SME Campus dedicated to solutions designed for the SME audience.  But we think it will be more valuable for all our customers at SAPPHIRE NOW to interact with companies of all sizes.  We want to encourage them to interact with and learn from each other.

Q.  So if not on an SME Campus, where will we find SAP SME solutions at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference?

A.   Everywhere!  I’ll kick off the conference with a post-keynote panel discussion in the Partner Center with Kevin Gilroy, Bobby Vetter, and Claus Gruenewald, about how SAP innovations are helping companies of all sizes to Run Better, and throughout the week, we’ll feature additional sessions in the Partner Center with SME companies like 4Mads, EMI Yoshi and Edmund Optics, who have leveraged SAP SME solutions for success.

You’ll discover demos of on-demand solutions like SAP Business One OnDemand, SAP Business ByDesign, and SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand at the Cloud Campus, along with success stories from customers like BigByte and Wefunk.  You can learn about SAP HANA, Edge edition, along with SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions to help you get up and running quickly and easily, at the Database & Technology Campus.  

You’ll see the latest analytics functionality in SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions at the Analytics Campus, where you’ll also hear from growing companies like New Era Cap Co.  You’ll discover mobile solutions to empower and untether your workforce on the Mobile Campus.  And at the Run Better Campus, you’ll see SAP Business One and Business All-in-One solutions in action and will hear from customers like KEEN, ACE Hardware and Landi Renzo USA.

What’s more, you’ll find demos, success stories, and more throughout the exhibit hall in booths hosted by channel partners like itelligence, Ciber, Optimal Solutions, Sparta Consulting, and YASH technologies.  And anyone who can’t attend in person will be able to watch many of the scheduled sessions online.

Our goal – and I think we’ve achieved it – was to embed the SME story throughout the SAPPHIRE NOW conference, so that customers of all sizes have the chance to experience it.

VISIT THE SAPPHIRE NOW AGENDA BUILDER, go to the Custom Agendas drop-down menu, and select “Analytics HANA for SME,” “Cloud for SME,” and/or “Run Better for SME” to see more great SME content from the event, and start building your personal agendas TODAY!

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