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Why SMEs Should Rediscover SAP

Small and mid-sized businesses should reevaluate what SAP can offer them. Because like a nimble startup, the SAP of five years ago isn’t the SAP of today. 

There are some popular myths about SAP because the firm literally invented the enterprise resource planning space (ERP) and powers many of the world’s largest companies. The popular misconception about SAP solutions is epitomized by the starting assumption of mid-market business consultant Mike Wind before he actually looked at what SAP offers today.

“It’s SAP, right? Big, rigid, costly?”

But Wind completely changed his mind after evaluating SAP’s current offerings for small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“We discovered SAP has evolved its capability, delivery, and pricing for Industry 4.0, digitization, and the midmarket,” he explained in a recent white paper. “For midmarket, high-growth companies…SAP is now one of the few [that we can recommend].”


Busting the Myths About SAP for Small and Mid-sized Businesses

There are some basic misconceptions about the ERP solutions that SAP offers today. Let’s look at a few of those myths.


Myth #1: SAP ERP is Too Big for Smaller Firms

This is partially true, but only if an SME opts for SAP’s largest, self-hosted ERP solution that is intended for large multinationals, SAP S/4HANA Private Edition.

There are other SAP solutions that are smaller and built specifically for SMEs, including SAP Business One for small businesses, SAP Business ByDesign for small and mid-sized fast-growing companies, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition for SMEs that want the power of the larger SAP solution but without the extra cost and complexity.

Naturally, these small to mid-sized business SAP offerings have what SMEs need but without being “too big.”


Myth #2: SAP Solutions are Too Rigid

Rigidity might have been a problem for SAP 20 years ago, but that changed with the cloud and SAP’s evolution toward modularity and configuration.

SMEs still get best practices built in by default, but today’s SAP solutions are organized around configuration so businesses can tailor processes, workflows, and functionality to their specific needs. Functionality can be added or adjusted with a drag-and-drop editor, plugins, or custom functionality can be turned on through the SAP Business Technology Platform, and businesses have the best of both worlds by choosing standard processes or making them their own.

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

Myth #3: SAP is Too Expensive

Not anymore. SAP’s cloud-based SME offerings make rollout and ongoing costs in-line or less expensive than comparable end-to-end business solutions. Businesses pay for only what they need, hardware and maintenance costs are handled by SAP’s cloud infrastructure, and SMEs can choose preconfigured, off-the-shelf industry solutions for even greater overall cost savings.

Depending on the size of the company, an SME can roll out SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition or SAP Business ByDesign for between $200,000 and $500,000 on average, with a recurring cost of between $20,000 and $100,000 after that.


Myth #4: Rolling Out an SAP ERP Takes Too Long

Is 30 days too long? We can help you roll out an SAP ERP solution in as little as one month.

Implementation time varies by company size and complexity, but on average small to medium-sized businesses can go live with a new SAP ERP in anywhere from four to 20 weeks.

Consultants and seasoned ERP pros often are shocked at these short rollout times, but that comes from SAP’s focus on configuration and modularity with its cloud-based offerings (and, frankly, from our deep experience helping SMEs roll out ERP solutions).

[Read how contract pharmaceutical manufacturer TriRx ramped up its SAP backend in only a matter of months with our help.]


Understanding the SAP Product Offerings

The misconceptions about SAP for the small to mid-sized market come from SAP having a range of product offerings that cater to each state of a company’s growth.

Each ERP solution offered by SAP is a standalone product that comes with room to grow. But all solutions can take advantage of SAP’s Business Technology Platform, a common marketplace for add-on functionality. There also is a clear migration path for moving up to a larger SAP solution when a business needs more than its current solution.

For small to medium-sized businesses, there are three options depending on a company’s needs.


The small business offering

SAP Business One ERP

An affordable, easy-to-use ERP system specifically designed for small to mid-market businesses. More than 60,000 businesses worldwide choose Business One. Available on-premise or in the cloud.


The fast-growing SME offering

SAP Business ByDesign ERP

A complete, cloud-built ERP solution for fast-growing, mid-market businesses and subsidiaries that want to scale without the complexity and unnecessary cost.


The growth-focused, midmarket SME offering

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition

An ERP system for growing mid-market companies complete with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics.


See If SAP is Right for Your Business

We’ve helped SMEs select and successfully roll out more than 500 ERP solutions over the past 25 years as an SAP Gold Partner. We’re the partner that SMEs turn to for knowledgeable SAP guidance and support.

For help with understanding the SAP product landscape or to see if an SAP solution is right for the specific needs of your business, contact one of our experienced consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by writing us at info@nbs-us.com.

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