SAP Canada Inc.’s top executives gathered for a roundtable discussion with media yesterday to celebrate the SAP AG subsidiary’s 20th anniversary.
The Canadian office had a fairly modest beginning in 1989 with about five customers and six employees, three of which are still with the company, said Mark Aboud, president and managing director of SAP Canada.
Today, SAP Canada has roughly 2,300 employees and serves 1,200 clients. “I think everyone would acknowledge that SAP is the dominant player in the large businesses. You would be hard pressed to look at a business in Canada over the last few years who made an ERP decision that didn’t go with SAP,” said Aboud.
But there are still areas for growth in the small and mid-size enterprise (SME) segment.
SAP expanded well into the SME marketplace over the last three years and 67 per cent of SAP Canada’s business comes from the SME segment, according to Conrad Mandala, VP at SAP Canada. “Our focus is going to be partner-centric, to grow that space substantially,” he said.
The transition will occur through changing the perception that SAP is exclusively for large enterprise and developing solutions with timed value propositions that address SMEs, said Mandala.
SAP’s value proposition for SMEs, according to Aboud, is they never have to buy another ERP system again. “It’s a very safe investment. You don’t have to do it again. You just build out your infrastructure on SAP in the direction that your business goes,” he said.
As companies grow, they don’t want to replace their ERP systems because of the large expense and disruption to the business, he pointed out. “That’s what companies are looking for. They don’t buy SAP to buy software, they buy it for the business return, so we quantify it for them,” said Aboud.
SAP Canada is actively dedicating resources to value engineering, as it previously did with developing implementation solutions, noted Jason Mausberg, president of IDS Scheer Canada. This will bring a more formal nature and detailed approach to value engineering, he said.
“[Value engineering] is something that larger consulting firms have been doing for years. However, the thoroughness of which they’ve been doing it, the accuracy and the consistency has been lacking,” said Mausberg.
“Too often companies invest and implement based on least path of resistance,” said Riaz Raihan, national VP of Value Engineering and Business Development for SAP Canada. “Value engineering puts some clarity around that and says, ‘This is the module that will give you more bang for your buck.'”
Business has been very strong throughout the economic downturn, said Aboud. Executives across all industries in Canada are responding by managing costs, managing liquidity and making strategic investments so when they exit the downturn, they have a competitive advantage, he pointed out.