Business by Design, SAP’s complete cloud-based business solution, offers a major opportunity for South Africa partners.

Mark Timms, head: sales and channel partner general business and partner operations, points out that the South African market, along with the rest of SADC, is categorised as General Business, so it’s all open for South African reseller partners.

Moreover, he says, SAP Africa hopes to drive 65% of its business through partners. “This creates a massive opportunity for potential revenue.”

Business By Design includes all of the regular ERP modules in one application, with one interface that is easy to use.

It is also easy to make changes when required. And it’s offered in the cloud, so the whole solution is offered as a service, with one predictable monthly cost.

“So it’s a complete solution, easy to use, insightful, adaptable and extensible, mobile, secure and scalable, and global,” Timms says.

“Importantly, it runs on the HANA platform.”

Business by Design is browser-based and runs in the cloud. All the components of the SAP on-demand business suite, including all of the ERP, financial, inventory, supply chain management, reporting and customer relationship management applications.

Because it is built on SAP’s HANA platform, it includes business analytics and mobile access as standard.

Typical deployment time is eight weeks, Timms adds, so it’s easy to see the relevance of Business by Design for the local market.

It targets the mid-market and upper-mid-market environment, offering end to end business processes, open for extensions. These are customers with higher revenues or subsidiaries of larger enterprise companies.

So far, local partners haven’t had a lot of success in deploying Business by Design into the South African market – despite the fact that 15 customers have bought the solution from European resellers.

“There’s a great opportunity for South African partners to go out there and make a success of Business by Design in the local market,” Timms says.

The fact that the solution is opex-based, with a per-user per-month cost also makes it an attractive sale.

“Its not a bleeding edge solution, but partners who are proactive can make an impact on their top and bottom line, and also get a profile with SAP,” he adds.

The South African addressable market for cloud solutions is big and growing, says Timms.

Partners can run different cloud models for their customers: they can offer public cloud solutions; they can manage cloud services for the customer or help them deploy their own private cloud; or they can opt for hybrid cloud solutions.

“So the opportunity to sell and deploy cloud apps, to implement and to upsell/cross-sell into existing accounts is there. So it’s very flexible,” he says.

Partners would include systems integrators, value-added resellers or OEMs, Timms adds.