SAP shifting Business ByDesign model to be more partner driven

Last year rumours surfaced that SAP was shutting Business ByDesign down, but instead it has moved it to the HANA platform, given it its own general manager, and changed its go-to-market model to better leverage partners.

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Dr. Michael Schmitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager SAP Business ByDesign

SAP is changing the go to market strategy of SAP BusinessByDesign, its’ cloud-based ERP offering for the upper mid-market to one in which channel partners will play a more significant role.

SAP BusinessByDesign sits between SAP BusinessOne and SAP Business All-in-One in SAP’s cloud portfolio, and its go-to-market model is being changed to more closely resemble those two other solutions. BusinessbyDesign has been significantly less successful than these other offerings, however. Indeed, last year there were rumors, which turned out to be false, that SAP was shutting BusinessByDesign down. Instead the company is looking to recharge it by moving it onto the HANA platform, and broadening the go-to-market model.

“We are shifting the go-to-market model to more of a partner-driven business,” said Dr. Michael Schmitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager SAP Business ByDesign, SAP SE. “This is what we have done with Business All-in-One and Business One.”

Schmitt assumed the newly created GM position for Business ByDesign on August 1, giving the offering additional management strength to guide its new strategy. Schmitt has an extensive background with SAP in SME and SMB management, as well as Senior VP of the German Business Partner organization and other partner focused roles.

Schmitt said BusinessByDesign is sold to upper midmarket customers, as well as to subsidiaries of SAP’s large enterprise accounts, and that the objective here is to take advantage of partner relationships with their midmarket accounts.

“Midmarket customers like to engage with one local partner who understands them,” Schmitt said.

Rainer Zinow, Senior Vice President, SAP Cloud, SAP SE, who is in charge of strategy, said that with the completion of the BusinessByDesign transition to the HANA platform, the product is now much more attractive, both to customers and to partners.

“We have been relatively quiet for the last nine months because we were in middle of moving ByDesign onto HANA and were not sure how long it would take,” Zinow said. “It was done faster than originally planned. Now we can go to market and say we have Design on HANA. This is good news for partners because it is our most modern platform. But it also makes it more attractive to build add-ons for ByDesign.”

The idea is to make it even easier for partners to build solution add-ons, which broadens appeal to customers, particularly in vertically-specific situations.

“We have more than 580 add-ons now,” Zinow said. “These close the gap between what SAP can deliver and integrations the customers would like to have. Our focus is to work a lot closer with partners to add the industry-specific expertise they bring to the table and make the solution more attractive than it is to date.”

SAP’s new focus on promoting and benefiting from partner micro-vertical-industry knowledge was welcome news to one SAP partner, Henrik Hausen, Member of the Executive Board, ALPHA Business Solution AG

“We are an SAP Gold Partner in Germany who has been a partner for over six years on cloud Business by Design,” Hausen said. “We want to get more into micro verticals. We feel the market for cloud ERP is getting better and better, and we hope to make some major deals this year.”