Software giant SAP is to start selling its small and medium business products through Hewlett Packard's (HP's) channel, the company said at its Sapphire conference in Lisbon.
SAP Business One will launch by the first quarter of next year in the UK, with the firm selecting suitable partners from HP's reseller network.
SAP and HP will provide sales incentives, training and marketing campaigns to assist the selected resellers.
Although it is best known for its enterprise focus, SAP has recently courted smaller companies and recognised the need for purpose-built software delivered through specialist local resellers, according to SAP executive board member Claus Heinrich.
He explained that small businesses need some of the basic enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that has been SAP's strength.
"What they don't need is complexity," he told vnunet.com. "It will enable us to reach new customers and supply software that is suitable for the smaller branch offices of our existing customer base."
It is unclear how the move will affect existing channel partners, nor was it clear how they would benefit from the marketing money HP is looking to bring to the deal.
But Heinrich said that it would be looking for deals with other hardware vendors.
SAP has been keen to attract business from smaller firms, as the number of large enterprises that need its full-blown ERP software is limited.
In March, SAP bought TopManage, whose TopManage Pro technology forms the basis of Business One. Since then it has worked to integrate it with the current SAP product set.
But in targeting small business, it faces competition from Microsoft which has signalled its intentions with the acquisitions of Great Plains and Navision.
However, Jos Brenkel, head of the commercial channel at HP Europe, said that SAP's "reputation for reliable and robust" business applications, in combination with HP's channel expertise, will help it steal a march on its competitors.
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