ERP vendor SAP is ditching its direct-only strategy in the midmarket and is opening up all accounts of less than £750m to its channel partners.
The vendor's mid- and lowend business is split into two groups: the SME unit, which covers accounts of between £150m to £750m and was previously served direct by the vendor; and the SMB unit, which covers accounts of up to £150m served by VARs.
"We will be collapsing the idea that the mid-SME market is direct only," said Ciaran Rafferty, SAP's general manager of SMEs. But SAP has just lost its head of SMB, Barbara Wiener, who "left the company to pursue other interests", Rafferty said.
He added that the firm will appoint a replacement in four to six weeks. SAP has already appointed Martin Stoker as head of BusinessOne - SAP's SME software - to help push through the new indirect initiative.
The firm wants to more than double its current number of partners by the end of the year, according to Rafferty. "We will move to a more tiered channel structure. We don't need to do this just yet, but it is definitely the way we will go," he said.
Earl Harrison, business development director at SAP VAR Trinity Expert Systems, said this is a natural progression for SAP.
"Moving the barrier from £150m is good news because there are still [bigger] firms that want BusinessOne and can use the channel," he said. "We like the idea of tiering. It just means if you want to be at the top you have to work for it. If SAP is expanding the reseller base it must have some control mechanism."
Duncan Wyeth, of SBO Consultancy, said: "SAP is absolutely right to widen its reseller base: big [end-user] firms want big suppliers. Having a tiered approach won't stop the a smaller guys becoming accredited."
Ian Caswell, managing director of SAP VAR Sapphire, said: "SAP is beefing up its channel side. While we don't want every reseller signing up, SAP is putting huge resources into this."
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