Posts Tagged ‘SAP’

Global SAP Business One Partners Praise Sydney Event

May 30, 2011

Sydney SAP Business One Solution Summit

Earlier this month, on the 19th & 20th May, I attended the Sydney SAP Business One Solution Summit, which was held at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel in Darling Harbour.

The event was attended by eleven Global SAP Business One Solution Partners (including Enprise Software) and thirteen SAP Business One Resellers from around Australia and New Zealand. The Solution Partners presented their vertical and horizontal solutions for SME businesses, all built to run on the SAP Business One platform. An additional event of a similar format was held in Singapore in the following week for SAP Business One Resellers in that region.

It was the first time that this many Global Solution Partners for SAP Business One had ever congregated at a single event on this scale within the Australasian region. As one of the organisers of the event, I was very pleased that we received so much positive feedback about its success.

“This was the first such event that I have ever attended and it was more than worthwhile! We are now working with new ssp’s, which is extremely exciting and would not have happened were it not for the conference.”

Simon Bishop, Inecom

“Both events exceeded my expectations in terms of opportunity and business development. I agree with everyone – we MUST do this again regularly.”

John Houltham, Batchmaster Software Inc.

“The format was good, the venue was great but most importantly the tone of the meetings were excellent. We were there together to foster a new level of partnership that would drive more opportunities for all involved parties.”

Ross Elliot, Accellos

“I also got very good feedback from my team and we got a lot opportunities. We would really like to join the next events.”

Manuel Grenacher, coresystems

“I participate at a lot of events in the last 7 years in EMEA and North America as an SSP, but these two were definitely the best.”

Peter Sauermann, Maringo

I would like to make special mention of Richard Duffy of SAP who was the driving force behind the Sydney event and made it all happen on the day.

We now look forward to the next event of this type.

SAP Business One ASUG Summit at Nike WHQ, Beaverton Oregon.

August 15, 2010

Last week I visited Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon to attend the ASUG Business One Summit. This was probably one of the most positive and inspiring business events I’ve ever attended.

ASUG stands for “America’s SAP User Group” and it’s a group of SAP customers from throughout North America who network together to share their experiences and knowledge in order to get the most out of their SAP systems.

Nike is a leading member of ASUG and they very kindly donated the use of their impressive conference facilities for ASUG to hold this event. The Nike World Headquarters were as impressive as they were inspiring; this is what your business can do when it conquers the world! The Nike culture rules in this establishment; ties and cigarettes are forbidden from the campus – everyone’s an athlete in the Nike world.

From the SAP Business One perspective, this was a meeting of customers, resellers, solution partners and SAP. All are dedicated, committed and loyal to the Business One product, which is now used by over 30,000 small & medium sized businesses throughout the world.

In addition to the North American SAP Partners and customers, there were attendees from other countries around the world, including Denmark, Latin America, India, Switzerland, The Netherlands and New Zealand.

Among the Business One Solution Partners, was Enprise Software from New Zealand, demonstrating Enprise Job Costing for Business One. This is a successful solution, sold around the world, which enables Business One to be used by Service Companies, Project Based Companies and Make-to-Order manufacturers.

This year’s very successful ASUG Business One Summit would never have happened without the tireless commitment and dedication of Carl Lewis of Vision-33, who largely created and organised the event.

I look forward to next year’s ASUG Conference, which Carl tells me might either be at Coca Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta, or SAP’s American headquarters in Newtown Square, Philadelphia.

To match the quality of this year’s event will certainly be a “Nike Challenge”.

Meet Jason Langley, the General Manager of Enprise Software

June 15, 2010

One of the “Generals” of Enprise Group is Jason Langley, who heads up Enprise Software. Enprise Software is the creator and global distributor of Enprise Job Costing for SAP Business One, which is sold through SAP’s international reseller channel.

I’ve known and worked with Jason for over 15 years, starting from the mid 1990’s, when we both worked at PC Direct (a successful NZ-based Personal Computer company). Jason was the corporate sales rep and I was the Information Services manager.

Jason Langley, GM of Enprise Software

Following PC Direct, Jason has held a number of positions in computer, web-development and software companies. These include another company I’m involved in, Datasquirt (which specializes in Social Media and SMS Text solutions for Corporate Contact Centers) – where he was the versatile “jack of all trades” that held the business together during its early formative years. Jason’s repertoire of diverse skills include computer programming, web site design, graphic art, sales, marketing and general management (I’m sure to have forgotten some…).

Jason’s skills and experience stand him in good stead to lead the team at Enprise Software, which is based in Auckland, New Zealand and works closely with over 100 SAP Business One resellers and their respective customers, which are located all around the world.

How ERP will be Sold, Deployed and Supported in the New Decade

April 22, 2010

Speaking as someone who is involved in the global SME ERP Industry through Enprise NZ and Enprise Software, involved in the Cloud Control Panel & Hosting industry through EMS-Cortex and involved in the Business Messaging and Social Media Industry through Datasquirt; here is my prediction of how ERP Software will be sold in the new decade that we are now entering;

Sales Process

  • Firstly, the prospective customer will search the Internet for an ERP Solution and ERP Reseller that look suitable for their type of business. This will involve the use of a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo and would include searches of web sites and various Social Media including Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Facebook and others.
  • The prospective customer will then contact the ERP Reseller via Email, Instant Message, Voice Call or Social Media Tweet, asking for more information and a demonstration of the ERP solution.
  • An initial consultation/discussion will follow via Email, Voice Call, Social Media etc to determine whether the fit between the ERP Solution and the customer requirements is such that a product demo is warranted.
  • The ERP Reseller will then set up a temporary demonstration ERP solution in the Cloud using their own portal in the Cortex Cloud Control Panel. The demonstration system would be a clean installation of the ERP demo, complete with its own clean virtual database server and (optional) desktop environment. The exact solution, including add-on industry vertical components and temporary user accounts can be selected and configured in the Cortex portal. This demo system would be provisioned, up and running within minutes of being requested on the portal and would be set to last for a predetermined duration for the purposes of the demonstration.
  • The ERP Reseller would then either visit the prospective customer and demonstrate the ERP solution on-site (geography permitting) using a computer connected to the Internet or will demonstrate via a web meeting tool such as GoToMeeting or WebEx.
  • The prospective customer might then want to spend further time trying out various aspects of the demonstration system after the ERP Reseller has finished demonstrating it. If the ERP Reseller agrees to this then they can arrange for the demonstration system to be kept alive in the Cloud for a longer duration to enable the prospective customer to continue with their own trial use of the system.
  • If/when the prospective customer decides to purchase the ERP system, the ERP Reseller would go back into their portal on the Cortex Control Panel, delete the demonstration system and configure a new live ERP system. The company and user names would be entered into the Cortex portal and also any additional up-sell items would also be included, such as Exchange Email accounts, SharePoint, Blackberry, VOIP accounts, Backups, Firewalls, Hosted Desktops (eg XenApp, XenDesktop), Payroll Access etc.
  • Application licensing information would be sent via Web Services to the respective vendors (eg Microsoft, Citrix, SAP, MYOB etc) and licences would be generated and applied back to the new hosted system via web services.
  • The Cloud-delivered ERP solution is now live, up and running. The ERP Reseller’s consultants can now access the system to configure the ERP Solution to the requirements of the customer.
  • The ERP Solution is now live in the Cloud and can be accessed from anywhere via the Internet. This includes all the branch and home locations of the customer as well as the ERP Reseller and the ERP and other software vendors.

Applying Upgrades and Patches to the ERP System

Prior to a new upgrade or patch being applied to a live ERP system, it must be tested against the individual customer’s data and processes to ensure that the software changes work correctly and cause no disruption to the business.

To enable this testing process, the ERP Reseller will go into their portal of the Cortex Control Panel and request a temporary test copy of the live ERP Environment. This enables the ERP Reseller’s consultants, in conjunction with the customer’s staff, to test the new software version and identify any possibly reconfiguration issues on the test system.

Once the testing process is completed and signed off, the ERP Reseller can go back into their portal of the Cortex Control Panel and apply the upgrade to the live system. They can also delete the test system when they are finished with it.

Support

Support of the ERP System by the ERP Reseller and the ERP Vendor is a lot easier, more efficient and less costly under this new model for the following reasons;

  • Because the ERP System and its virtual operating environment was provisioned by Cortex, it would be done the same every time, using best practices, using the correct program versions and configuration. These things are therefore known to the support personnel and not subject to variation.
  • The support personnel have quick and easy remote access to the hosted ERP solution (subject to permission from the customer to access their system and data).

The model works better for everyone involved in the ERP system sale. The customer, the ERP Reseller and the ERP and other software vendors.

The Customer gets:

  • Extended Access to a Demo System
  • Reduced Capital Outlay
  • Faster Implementation
  • Reduced management overhead of looking after local server & infrastructure

The ERP Reseller gets:

  • Up-sell opportunities
  • Faster Implementation – freeing up time to sell more!
  • Repeatable Cookie Cutter implementations
  • Easier to Support

The Vertical Solution Vendor gets:

  • Opportunity to list solutions on the Cortex Portal
  • Easier Support on a Known Environment

The ERP Vendor gets:

  • Faster Implementations = More Sales
  • Easier & Less Expensive Support
  • Better Product Performance in a Correct Known Environment

SAP Business One just keeps getting more compelling

April 5, 2010

SAP Business One is today a well-proven and successful ERP platform for SME Businesses around the world. It is now supported in over 80 countries by over 820 VAR Partners and boasts over 500 add-on solutions built by over 300 Solution Partners. As a platform for developing specific vertical-market solutions, Business One has excelled with its Data and User Interface API’s, which enable third-party developers (like Enprise Software) to develop add-on modules that look, interact and reside with Business One as if they were part of the core product itself.

Later this month, the new version 8.8 will be released. This is the version that the SAP Business One partner community has been waiting for since it went into “ramp-up” (final, live testing on selected and restricted customer sites) in August 2009.

Version 8.8 of SAP Business One has an emphasis on the new technology environment, including enhanced connectivity to “Cloud Computing” solutions & Web Services, Embedded Analytics from SAP Business Objects, further improvements to its SDKs, a new “look and feel”, upgrade wizards etc.

At the same time, Enprise is shipping a new version of the popular Enprise Job Costing for SAP Business One which is fully compatible with Business One 8.8 and features new levels of integration with Microsoft Project.

SAP Business One – Solution Partner Advisory Council (SPAC)

March 25, 2010

SAP Business One Solution Partner Advisory Council (SPAC) in Copenhagen, May 2008.

SAP Business One is a very successful, SME-focused Business Management / ERP software package that is sold through reseller partner channels throughout the world. I think of it as an SME ERP “platform” because it has an excellent set of API’s for third-party developers / ISVs to develop add-on solutions that look and feel as if they are part of the core Business One package.

The fact that SAP Business One is a developer-friendly, global ERP platform for SME businesses has helped it build up a portfolio of over 500 add-on solutions, built by over 300 ISV or “Solution Partners”. My company Enprise Software is one of these Solution Partners. We are based in New Zealand, yet sell our Job Costing solution all around the world, through SAP’s partner channels.

Given that partner-built solutions (both industry vertical and horizontal) are such a big part of the SAP Business One value offering, it was deemed necessary to set up an advisory council of leading Solution Partners to advise on policies and act as a sounding board for SAP Business One executives.

The SAP Business One Solution Partner Advisory Council (SPAC) was formed in December 2005 and was made up from about 12 of the top SAP Business One Solution Partners from around the world at that time. One of the first tasks the council set itself (in conjunction with SAP) was to define the council’s mission statement. The following statement was constructed back then and remains in place today;

“Maximize the success of SAP’s partner community by driving change, innovation, and ownership of the global SME market.”

Since its creation, the SPAC has worked collaboratively with SAP to:

  • Define and prioritize business requirements for product enhancements
  • Develop a collaborative engagement model for SSP’s and VAR’s to more effectively sell SAP and partner solutions
  • Establish effective release policies that enable SAP and its partners to ensure consistent, quality upgrades
  • Modify solution certification processes & criteria to better suit market needs

I was fortunate to be one of the founding members of the SPAC in December 2005 and today I’m honored to be its Chairperson.

Current members of the SPAC are;

SAP executives specifically and regularly involved with the SPAC are;

  • Jim Kofalt
  • Greg Robinson
  • Ralf Mehnert-Meland

If you would like to communicate with the SPAC, please contact me or one of the listed members, or enter a reply to this article.