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Is SAP ERP Actually Good for a Mid-Market Business?

We know that SAP is the right choice for many mid-market businesses that are digitally transforming or looking to put in place an ERP; we’ve been helping mid-market businesses leverage SAP for more than 25 years.

But not everyone understands that SAP is a good fit for smaller firms, because SAP powers most Fortune 500 companies and this gives the impression that they might be focused primarily on huge systems that support the likes of Coca-Cola and British Petroleum.

That’s why a recent white paper by the mid-market business consultant Mike Wind made us smile.

The white paper, “Why SAP Surprised Us,” talked about how Wind and his technology consulting company, Perpetua Advisors, evaluated SAP’s ERP offerings as part of a project for a high-growth, mid-market consumer packaged goods company (CPG) that was looking for technology advice.

Wind started with the typical stereotype that SAP is only right for large enterprise customers, but he completely changed his mind after looking more closely at what SAP brings to mid-market businesses.

“Prior to engaging SAP for a recent midmarket company, we didn’t consider SAP to be a provider in the midmarket,” wrote Wind. “Because it’s SAP, right? Big, rigid, costly?”

But boy, did that assessment change!

“We discovered SAP has evolved its capability, delivery, and pricing for Industry 4.0, digitization, and the midmarket,” he explained.

“Based on what we learned,” wrote Wind, “Perpetua Advisors has made the decision to be part of the SAP Technical Advisory Program and will nominate SAP for consideration when advising our clients. For midmarket, high-growth companies…SAP is now one of the few.”


Why Perpetua Advisors Now Recommends SAP for Mid-Market Businesses

What changed Wind’s mind about SAP for the mid-market? Due diligence, and the Grow with SAP program.

“Grow with SAP provides a complete offering of SAP Cloud ERP, SAP Business Technology Platform, adoption acceleration services, community support, and learning module, so any size company can successfully adopt SAP S/4HANA Cloud,” he explained.

[See our video on what the SAP Business Technology Platform is about

SAP Cloud ERP covers a broad spectrum of business needs, noted Wind, from mission-critical operations to business model innovation. Whether customers are implementing an ERP for the first time or migrating from an existing ERP to the cloud, “SAP Cloud ERP delivers a complete modular solution with the AI and analytics capabilities to move businesses forward. It delivers the depth of industry capabilities companies require and the cloud benefits they want, to help them take advantage of new opportunities in the marketplace.”

Crucially, SAP delivers the two things that Wind and Perpetua Advisors look for when recommending an ERP solution to a mid-market firm.

First, the ERP solution must bring a competitive advantage by increasing speed, accuracy, and data reliability across the enterprise. It also should deliver a digital twin of the business, a simplified data usage view that extends from the most valuable, external interactions to the simplest, internal processes.

Second, Wind believes that “companies in the midmarket should focus on reversing the negative technology inertia by transitioning to owning their data and not their technology systems.” 

This amounts to adopting the technology processes embedded in mature technology solutions and moving away from the “our way” mentality where many mid-market businesses rely on bespoke technology systems and processes instead of industry best practices.

On both these counts, Grow with SAP fits the bill.

“SAP is a competitive advantage,” explained Wind, checking the first box on his requirements list. “We evaluate our ecosystem partners on the value they provide to our customers. SAP simplifies the technology footprint and provides a singular point of truth, a company’s data – making it easier to optimize internally while simultaneously winning externally in the market with customers, suppliers, and employees.”

Grow with SAP also meets the need for overcoming the technology inertia that many growing, mid-market businesses face when they are reliant on homegrown solutions instead of best practices.

“SAP has an Industry 4.0 playbook which allows these companies to focus on owning their data, not their systems,” Wind explained. This helps businesses standardize around best practices instead of reinventing the wheel, it helps avoid bespoke custom solutions, and it cuts cost, deployment time and maintenance headaches.


SAP Delivers for Mid-Market Companies

After evaluating SAP’s ERP offering for mid-market companies, Mike Wind at Perpetua Advisors now is an SAP convert. A big convert.

“Our [CPG] customer could not succeed without SAP’s investments in adoption, speed to benefits, and pricing model to make digitization affordable for midmarket, high-growth organizations,” he wrote.

So is SAP a good fit for mid-market businesses looking for a modern digital infrastructure? The answer is a resounding YES.

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