German software vendor SAP has made the first moves away from its traditional direct sales policy with the appointment of its first three UK Vars. Apex Systems, PS Industries and MX Business Systems are the first three indirect partners, operating under SAP's new reseller programme, who will be selling the R/3 business application package. SAP's new strategy is aimed at taking R/3 into the medium-sized enterprise.
Petra Frenzel, managing director of SAP UK, said: "Mid-size companies are realising that business solutions currently enjoyed by larger companies could also provide them with a competitive advantage. Our new reseller programme will help to address this market." SAP is looking for around ten Vars for its programme, to be signed by the middle of next year. The markets it wants to address are financial services, wholesale, distribution, and the public sector.
Under the programme, resellers will be able to call on a new team of dedicated SAP experts who can give them support, while they in turn will be expected to supply their customers with a total service offering and hotline support. SAP UK channel director Martin Metcalf said: "We need to reassure Vars first of all that R/3 is not as expensive as they might imagine, then we can talk to them about how it can be targeted at the middle-sized market. It is already a highly established product at the high end, and will hopefully need no introductions. R/3 is a long-term product, which should help resellers to continue providing services."
SAP has designed an implementation methodology called SAP Focus, designed to assist the Var and the mid-sized customer. The methodology defines the input required from the customer early in the implementation process to optimise its management. New tools are also available to help simplify the process.
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