the National Manufacturing Week (NMW) event,
held February 23-26, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois (US), SAP AG
(NYSE: SAP), the leading provider of enterprise applications, announced the
availability of new industry-specific solutions for small and midsize manufacturing
companies with the aim of extending its leadership as a provider of solutions
for an even broader range of companies from small enterprises via mid-market
companies to the world's industry leaders.
two-tiered product offering for small and medium businesses (SMB)—SAP
Business One and mySAP All-in-One
solutionsaims at addressing the diverse IT and business requirements of manufacturing
companies of varying sizes, resources, and complexity. Both solutions for SMBs
are designed to be competitively affordable and easy-to-implement for adequate
enterprises, and are delivered through SAP's partner network. While SAP Business
One is designed for smaller companies with less complex business processes,
SAP also offers its partners mySAP All-in-One turnkey solutions to meet the
industry-specific needs of more sophisticated companies. Namely, this is for
the "sophisticated" or the upper echelon SMBs with a high need for individualization
and industry-specific functionality. SAP is globally expanding its existing
strategy of offering industry-specific SMB solutions ranging from automotive
supply to food processing. These are based on the flagship, top of the range
mySAP Business Suite product and are tailored, configured,
and complemented by SAP channel partners, and are also available on a fixed-price,
fixed implementation time basis.
that end, in 2003, SAP and its network of qualified business partners reportedly
introduced 120 new manufacturing solutions, including such specialized offerings
which range, for example from fabricated metals, construction equipment, and
civil works to agro-products companies. SAP and its partners currently offer
180 mySAP All-in-One solutions for manufacturers globally, based on industry
best practices from SAP's more than thirty years of experience serving the world's
leading businesses. For example, to meet the needs of custom manufacturers,
US-based N2 Consulting has leveraged its expertise as an SAP
consultant to develop FastTrack, a pre-packaged, fixed-price
and implementation timeline mySAP All-in-One solution that can be implemented
in as few as sixteen weeks. Spanning the engineering, quality, sales and service,
and finance functions for small and midsize companies, FastTrack is touted as
an end-to-end, complex manufacturing solution to manage processes such as make-to-order
(MTO) with product configurator, engineer-to-order (ETO), engineering
change management (ECM), service management, and make-to-stock
additional new mySAP All-in-One solutions would include BDO para Agroalimentos,
offered by SAP partner BDO for agro-products companies in Mexico.
The solution helps companies manage purchasing, production, bulk delivery, and
sales administration processes specific to the manufacture of products for the
agricultural industry. Last but not least, for high-tech and electronic manufacturers,
South Korea-based BizTech Consulting Co., Ltd., has introduced
the BizExpert solution, with industry-specific capabilities
such as electronic manufacturing system management, bin management, and multiple
for the lower-end of the market, SAP has designed SAP Business One to meet the
core management needs of dynamically growing small and midsize businesses, and
is moving to better address the specific needs of small and mid-sized manufacturers
through a planned strategic solution relationship with SoftBrands
an established, privately-held, global leader in manufacturing management systems
for SMBs, whereby the two vendors have initiated efforts to integrate SoftBrands'
leading manufacturing software product Fourth Shift with SAP
Business One. Fourth Shift is a renowned mid-market, web-based manufacturing
management solution that has broad functionality and that facilitates many critical
business functions including manufacturing, operations, financials, and customer
and supplier relationship management (SRM).
integration of Fourth Shift Manufacturing Edition with SAP
Business One is scheduled to be released in two phases beginning in July 2004.
It should give small manufacturers fairly comprehensive but easy-to-use capabilities
for managing a variety of manufacturing processes to replace dated legacy systems
and manual processes. The combined solution should enhance capabilities in SAP
Business One to serve repetitive, batch, MTO, discrete, and mixed-mode manufacturers,
as well as those that are on the path to lean or demand-driven operations. Namely,
further down the track, the relationship with SoftBrands will also extend SAP
Business One with Fourth Shift's DemandStream Lean Enterprise Automation
integrated module, a specialized solution for managing lean manufacturing operations.
The combined solution will be offered through SAP Business One partners worldwide,
while SoftBrands will continue to support manufacturers in its key worldwide
markets, including the US, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China, Asia Pacific,
to this announcement, in November, SAP announced the US launch of enhancements
to SAP Business One that combine broader customer relationship management
(CRM) capabilities and comprehensive business management tools in a single software
solution. SAP Business One was originally launched in the United States in March
2003. The solution's award-winning Drag & Relate data navigation
system, which encompasses good traits (i.e., "the best of both worlds") similar
to both Microsoft Excel Pivot Tables and to typical report
writers' querying capabilities, has since provided users with intuitive data
access simply by highlighting and dragging pieces of information on the screen.
Additionally, the product features strong integration with desktop applications,
since users can drag information between different data sources and link them
on the desktop. It also has integrated customer relationship management
(CRM) system for pipeline tracking, opportunity management, strategic selling,
and contact management, while other initial key functionalities also include
comprehensive financial management, with multi-currency, budgeting, and bank
reconciliation; a well-rounded inventory management system, with kitting and
multilevel price lists; and a comprehensive reporting module that allows easy
access to any data.
solution initially supported only the Microsoft SQL Server
database and the Microsoft Windows operating system, which
was recently extended with the support for the Sybase database.
Its open architecture has reportedly allowed integration with the flagship mySAP
Business Suite giving companies the adaptability to scale their applications
with the growth of their business. In addition to the US, SAP Business One has
meanwhile become available in twenty-six countries and twenty-five languages
as of first quarter 2004, and the product has nearly 3,000 customers and over
500 partners worldwide. The newest version of SAP Business One is available
to SMBs in the US, through SAP AG's subsidiary SAP America, Inc.
and its SAP Business One distribution partner channel.
is Part One of a five-part note.
Two will continue the event eummary.
Three and Four will discuss the market impact.
Five will cover challenges and make user recommendations.
CRM Functionality and More
these most recent enhancements, SAP Business One has made CRM functionality
an intrinsic and fundamental part of core business automation, as opposed to
a discrete silo of customer information in the shape of a customary add-on module.
This relieves small businesses of the need to purchase separate products; maintain
costly, patch-work integrations; or utilize different user interfaces
(UIs). The vendor believes it is important that small businesses view CRM not
as a mere mechanism for increasing front-office data gathering but as a core
part of their business system, targeted to immediately improve the company sales
and service performance. To that end, the new version of SAP Business One provides
built-in CRM functionality across the entire spectrum of business information.
In other words, information from customers, the sales force, suppliers, and
business managers is tied to other business information, so that chief financial
officers and other managers can drill down into sales information; a sales person
can avoid risks by exploring customers' debt; while buyers can plan purchasing
according to real demand, based on the sales opportunities managed in the software.
Thus, within a single application, SAP Business One allows business managers to run their entire business from their desktop, viewing customer, partner, sales, and inventory information as they relate to other business activities and not merely as a freestanding silo of customer preferences.
the new version of SAP Business One now offers service management capabilities
that provide support for company service operations, including service contract
management, service planning, tracking of customer service use, and support
and management of service sales opportunities. In addition, new employee
relationship management (ERM) capabilities should strengthen a company's
ability to manage employees by providing efficient tools to track information
about employees, their roles and activities. The ERM capabilities should also
allow companies to organize information on service technicians, such as their
labor rates, in order to support field service management activities.
new contract management capabilities track customer equipment, service
contract agreements, and customer use, since SAP Business One automatically
updates customers' equipment records upon purchase so that users can track whether
products are under warranty or special service contracts. Finally, the embedded
knowledge management (KM) offering should help customer service representatives
by recommending solutions to service call issues and greatly reduce the training
and ramp-up time of new customer service personnel. These enhancements build
on the solution's original CRM capabilities, which, as mentioned earlier, enable
business managers to track sales opportunities, view pipeline opportunities,
and follow customer activity.
the above new features of SAP Business One, SAP believes small businesses can
now address most of their business needs in one out-of-the-box solution. And
for those businesses hoping to integrate SAP Business One with additional systems,
or to add functionality to the system, SAP is now offering the SAP Business
One Software Development Kit (SDK), which
is touted as one of the most advanced development environments available in
the SMB space that will allow SAP partners to facilitate SMB requests such as
connecting to a third-party system, extending the capability of SAP Business
One by integrating a very specific functionality or integrating to other company-specific
software. The development environment of the SDK will supposedly allow partners
to create custom solutions for customers in a timely and cost-effective way.
The SDK supports all commonly used development languages, including Java and
Microsoft .NET, allowing partners to migrate their solutions
quickly to the SAP Business One environment.
at CeBIT 2004, which was held in Hanover, Germany, March 18-24,
SAP announced that its solutions for SMBs were gaining market traction as large
companies in numerous industries seek the advantages of transparency, real time
reporting and business process integration with their subsidiaries, trading
partners, and suppliers. Namely, companies around the world have recently entered
agreements to deploy mySAP All-in-One or SAP Business One solutions at operating
affiliates across the globe, such as BioMer C.V., Broring,
Clever Stolz Lebensmittelwerke, Dongguan Jin Yuan Electronics
Co. Ltd., Edding, Endress+Hauser,
Hangzhou Hualong Technology, Heicko Schraubenvertrieb,
IBS Filtran, Kohler Company, Lapp,
Metro Richelieu, Oase, OMYA,
Rosenthal, Schaap & Citroen (part of Vendex
KBB), Sigma Kalon, Sparkice Inc.,
Super Bright Photo Electrics, and VEKA AG.
As there is still a significant percentage of small and midsize businesses that are affiliated with a parent company, while others engage with larger companies as customers, partners or suppliers, SAP believes its value proposition emanates from the fact that its solutions for SMBs integrate fully with the solutions of mySAP Business Suite and other SAP solutions used by more than 21,600 SAP customers, enhancing reporting and information sharing; streamlining business operations; and increasing efficiency between parent companies and their operating affiliates. This seamless integration becomes an increasing competitive advantage as businesses demand more transparency across their operating networks to meet new regulatory reporting requirements and seek enhanced collaboration and efficiency with their affiliates, partners, and suppliers to achieve growth.
concludes Part One of a five-part note.
Two will continue the event summary.
Three and Four will discuss the market impact.
Five will cover challenges and make user recommendations.