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European SMEs Gain Business Clarity With SAP® Solutions


Small Businesses and Midsize Enterprises Reveal How Business Solutions Can Enable Visibility, Competitive Advantage and Sustainable Growth.

In early September, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) brought together some of its most innovative European customers from the small business and midsize enterprise (SME) market to showcase how they are using SAP® solutions to achieve clarity in their businesses. In London, Luis Murguia, senior vice president of SME for SAP EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), hosted a panel of senior executives from different countries to discuss how having an end-to-end view of operations is critical to success in today’s business environment, and how capitalizing on technology allows for greater transparency and accountability, as well as lean and customer-centric organizations. Customers that participated in the panel included: Consol (South Africa), Dishman (Netherlands), Kompak Nederland B.V. (Netherlands), Shoosmiths (UK), TMG Telecom (UK) and The University of Greenwich (UK).

“Through achieving more transparency in our business, we’ve already reduced our stock inventory by about EUR 600,000 and probably even more in the future,” said Mark Ipema, operations manager at Dishman Netherlands. “These are huge money-savers that are extremely beneficial for our business, especially in the current economic climate. In addition, we are saving a lot of time, as colleagues who are involved in reporting appear to need less time to do the same work and can now dedicate themselves to other productive activities.”

The executives at the event agreed that achieving business clarity is vital in today’s turbulent economic times and that SAP technology has enabled them to reach a state where they can act and think clearly.

“We have 180 different applications and SAP is helping us reduce complexity to give us better clarity,” said David Bason, IS director, Shoosmiths. “SAP will give us a competitive edge in the market; without our SAP solution, we wouldn’t be able to be ready when the market improves.”

Business intelligence technology from the SAP® BusinessObjectsTM portfolio also made a positive impression with customers participating in the panel, clearly stating that business intelligence is not a technology exclusively for large enterprises.

Christine Couper, head of planning and statistics at The University of Greenwich, said, “We need to become smarter in what we’re doing in order to compete in a different higher education environment. We need to deliver to our customers and transparently share information. SAP BusinessObjects software is helping us to do just that.”

Johan Du Plessis, IT director at Consol, reiterated the importance of having the right data available at the right time: “Business intelligence gives you a competitive edge; having one view of the truth makes the difference in our business.”

“In today’s new reality, enterprises must demonstrate transparency, agility and customer-centricity-no matter their size,” said Murguia. “By providing a best-fit SME solution portfolio that is easy to implement and combines the power of dedicated business applications with industry-leading business intelligence functionality, SAP helps small businesses and midsize enterprises to make informed, timely decisions for maximum impact, fast adoption to changing market conditions and customer demands-oftentimes despite scarce resources.”

The panel event demonstrated that despite an unstable economic outlook many SMEs are continuing to thrive. Each SME customer that participated in the event had different business needs and looked to SAP software to help them address their IT challenges:

* Consol, a South African glass container packaging manufacturer, is the first EMEA organization to employ SAP® BusinessObjectsTM Explorer software, using it to provide immediate insight into information to quickly make the right business decisions.
* Global pharmaceutical innovator Dishman, based in the Netherlands, implemented the SAP® Business All-in-One solution and is leveraging the SAP® Business All-in-One fast-start program to shorten its implementation time. With the solution, Dishman has achieved the transparency and visibility necessary to comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
* Kompak Nederland B.V., the Dutch co-maker and co-packer of market leading brands, is using the SAP® Business Onesolution to grow and innovate in line with market demands.
* Top-30 UK law firm Shoosmiths is rolling out the enterprise resource planning (ERP) application SAP® ERP and its legal management solution to replace its practice management system and provide a new technology platform to support the growth of its business.
* TMG Telecom, a UK provider of converged voice, data and IP solutions, is using the SAP® Business ByDesignTM solution to increase operational efficiencies, support its growth strategy and tighten information security.
* The University of Greenwich is using SAP BusinessObjects solutions to provide information and insight upon which senior staff can make decisions and guide its future direction.

SME Success for SAP
With more than 68,000 SAP customers worldwide, the SME market is a key sector for SAP, as well as a fast-growing one. In EMEA alone, SAP signed over 1,100 new customers in the second quarter of 2009, representing 30 percent growth compared to the same quarter in 2008. This growth has been supported by SAP’s strong qualified partner ecosystem, with each partner each specializing in a specific SAP product, industry or service to provide small businesses and midsize companies with the expertise and industry-specific knowledge they require. For more information, visit

SAP® TechEd 2009 in Phoenix, Vienna, Shanghai and Bangalore
More than 12,000 SAP customers, partners and technical experts are convening at SAP® TechEd 2009, the company’s largest ecosystem education event, to gain the inspiration and skills needed to maximize impact on their organizations at a time when companies need both skilled professionals and agile, efficient IT solutions that can efficiently adapt to change. In its 13th year, SAP TechEd 2009 is being held in Phoenix on October 13-16, Vienna on October 27-29, Shanghai on November 11-12 and Bangalore on November 18-20. For more information, please visit Join the conversation via Twitter at #sapteched09.


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