SAP has vowed to go channel-only in the SMB space and will redeploy direct sales staff impacted by the strategy into partner-facing roles. The business applications giant currently transacts 91 per cent of SMB deals through the channel on a global basis, although this figure is as low as 60 per cent in some countries.However, over the course of this year, it plans to increase that to 100 per cent using a mix of partner recruitment and enablement. Eric Duffaut, president of global ecosystems and channels at SAP, said the goal was part of the firm's aim to become a €20bn company by 2015. He said: "Around 79 per cent of our customers are SMBs, and we want to make that part of the business a 100 per cent indirect play to help accelerate our growth. "Our [SMB] direct sales teams will work with our partners to make that happen. "Duffaut said SAP's first quarter will be spent "concluding legacy direct deals". Meanwhile, all new SMB leads will be passed to partners straight away. He added: "This past year has been super successful for us because we have relied more on the channel and we now want to build on that as much as possible. "We are not going to lose our [SMB] direct sales teams. They are going to be working closely with partners to make more of the SMB opportunities."
In terms of recruitment objectives, Duffaut said the vendor is on the look out for VARs with a strong background in the SMB market to push its Business One and Business ByDesign products. He said: "We want partners that have the ability to scale, understand that this is a volume play and can fill the white spaces that exist within some of our key verticals." The vendor is also planning to include the channel in more of its enterprise deals and is specifically looking for partners to help fill in for the vendor where its skills are lacking. Duffaut said: "We want partners that do things that SAP doesn't do very well to help us extend the core competencies of our business."
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