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Sun 3 Dec 2006 04:00 PM

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SAP changes image to grab SME market

SAP is determined to change its image as a company

SAP is determined to change its image as a company which does not provide solutions for the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market, its most senior executive in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region told
IT Weekly

last month.

Ernie Gunst, president of SAP AG EMEA, said the firm plans to aggressively target the SME market; a move which will require it to also change market perceptions of its offerings.

“I think the perception that we can change and that we need to change is that SAP is also here for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) [not just for enterprise customers],” he said. “And that’s what you will see as we move forward.”

Gunst said that globally SAP is increasingly being seen as an SMB player, and said that he saw no reason why the Middle East market could also not change its perception of the firm.

He said that the Middle East was one of the enterprise software giant’s fastest growing areas in the world, and claimed that globalisation was driving businesses in the region to adopt increasingly sophisticated solutions to support their expansion.

“The Middle East is a terrific area for us because it’s one of the fastest growing areas in our business geographically,” Gunst revealed.

“And here again we see globalisation playing an important role. We have Middle East companies that are investing in the rest of the world and, of course, we have the rest of the world that is investing in the Middle East.

“These two combinations make it necessary for businesses here to use solutions like ours to continue to expand their business and to support that expansion with our solutions.”

Gunst said he believed there would be widespread adoption of enterprise solutions based on service-orientated architecture (SOA) across the region.

SAP has pledged to drive the development and adoption of SOA and believes this is the technology that will underpin enterprise solutions in the future.

“I don’t see any reason why Middle East companies would not be able to adopt it [SOA].

“There is a clear advantage — that it makes business innovation and flexibility possible.

“So on one hand you have the stability and robustness of the major business streams and transactions, and on the other hand you have the possibility through enterprise SOA to also spur innovation in your company,” he added.

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