SAP could struggle to crack SME market

SAP has been eying up the SME market for some time, but there are doubts as to whether it will make much headway in the sector.

Historically the firm has supplied software to large companies, having traditionally served Enterprise Resource Planning to the likes of Unilever and Airbus.

But now it has reached market saturation point with the big players.

Clive Longbottom, analyst at Quocirca, said, “If it wants more licence revenue it will need to look elsewhere.”

SAP is desperate to promote its SME contracts. But although it will always be able to find case studies of companies that are using its services, the truth is it still has a long way to go, said Longbottom.

“The perception outside of Germany is that it is expensive, complex and constraining. And there’s already a lot of midmarket players positioned to serve this market.”

Longbottom remains doubtful that it will be able to break out of penetration figures beyond single percentage digits, despite claims by the firm that it has made inroads into the market.

Perhaps the company will have more luck with the relaunch of its SaaS Business ByDesign package – after it was slammed by users for being too slow to bring the suite to market.

But it’s also worth remembering that SAP is the biggest European software company and has spent time and money attracting IT resellers in recent years, in an attempt to break the SME sector.