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3/27/2003
02:53 PM
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SAP Starts Selling Small-Company ERP In The U.S.

Available overseas for a year, Business One is launched here.

SAP says it's shipping Business One, an ERP suite designed for small and midsize businesses, in the United States. The software includes tools for sales and purchasing management, sales-force automation, and financial management and reporting. SAP is charging $3,750 per user for a minimum of three users per business.

At a media conference Thursday in New York, CEO Bill McDermott said that the small and midsize businesses grew 21% last year. "It's robust," he said. "In terms of percentage growth, that market will be at least double that of our core business. We're very bullish on this strategy."

A year ago, SAP launched a similar strategy in markets other than the United States. Company execs claim 1,300 small businesses are using Business One worldwide. For the U.S. campaign, SAP is giving the reins entirely to resellers, a group that will double in size as part of the campaign, McDermott says.

The "marquee example" of that effort, McDermott says, is American Express Co. Under a new agreement between the two, the tax and business services unit of American Express will distribute and support a co-branded Business One this fall, says Gerry Golub, senior managing director for tax and business services. American Express will add some functions and features for certain industries, he says.

Duane Taylor, VP of finance for NextiraOne Federal, got an early copy of the application. "Business One allows us, through the alert and workflow system, to get better information, and that saves us money," he says. NextiraOne is a 100-employee, $50 million-a-year business that designs, resells, and installs telecom systems for federal agencies. It uses the software to manage its orders and sales more efficiently. After less than two months of operation, Taylor says, he has noted increased efficiencies. "I've been impressed with the results."

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