SAP has established an agency model in the UK to generate increased awareness of its activities in the SME market.
The ERP vendor has appointed seven agents to work alongside its 14 UK VARs to push its R/3 product, AcceleratedSAP, to SMEs, with more appointments to come.
Andy Menzies, divisional manager for VARs at SAP UK, said the move would promote the vendor's message to SMEs more effectively. "We signed our first VARs in 1996, but it has reached a point where it is appropriate to bring in an agency programme. We don't want to throw as many VARs as we can at the wall and hope they will stick, but equally, our 14 VARs can't service the 43,000 SMEs in the UK."
He added that the agency model would also help overcome SAP's perception among smaller companies that its implementations are too complex, too big, too long and too costly.
"Those problems are easy to overcome and the reality is that we achieve success with customers at the coal face," Menzies said.
SAP hopes to attract a considerable number of agents to approach companies with turnover of less than £150m and between 50 and 1000 staff. Each signed partner will be able to send an employee free of charge on a specialist five-week training course at SAP's Academy consultant training programme, which is worth £6000.
Menzies added that sales opportunities highlighted by agents will be referred back to SAP, which will then be passed on to the appropriate VAR.
The agent will then receive a percentage of the software licence as a fee.
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