ERP software giant SAP is to sell its SME business products through Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) channel, the vendor said at its Sapphire conference in Lisbon last week.
SAP Business One will be launched early next year in the UK, with SAP selecting suitable resellers and distributors from HP's channel. SAP and HP will provide sales incentives, training and marketing campaigns to help the selected resellers.
SAP has been courting the SME channel since March and announced in June that it wanted to go through distributors for the first time (CRN, 17 June). Claus Heinrich, an SAP executive board member, said the vendor had recognised the need for purpose-built software delivered through specialist local resellers.
He said small businesses need some of the basic ERP that can be delivered in Business One.
"What they don't need is complexity," he said. "This will enable us to reach new customers and supply software that is suitable for the smaller offices of our existing customers."
It is unclear how the move will affect existing resellers, or how they will benefit from the marketing spend that HP is proposing. But Heinrich said SAP would be looking for deals with other hardware vendors.
In March, SAP bought TopManage, whose technology forms the basis of Business One. Since then it has worked to integrate it with the current SAP product set.
SAP faces competition from Microsoft, which signalled its intentions to target SMEs by acquiring Great Plains and Navision.
But Jos Brenkel, head of the commercial channel at HP Europe, said SAP's "reputation for reliable and robust business applications", along with HP's channel expertise, will help them steal a march on their competitors.
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