Oracle Corp and SAP AG are fine-tuning their SME go-to-market strategies, with Oracle launching an entry-level program for new VARs and ISVs, and SAP adjusting its sales organization.
The new SAP SME sales structure parallels the mid- and enterprise-level structure with customers divided into four hierarchical groups based on annual revenue. Customers with revenue in excess of 500m euros will form the top of the hierarchy. Although SAP maintains that about 30% of its current revenue comes from medium-sized companies, it still needs to push down the SME stack in order to meet its goals of expanding from a 30,000 to a 100,000 customer base by 2010, and driving revenue from sales to SMEs to 40% to 45% of total revenue. Indirect sales are a critical part of its plan and it has built up a network of over 500 channel partners to serve this market, and last May started to roll out the PartnerEdge partner support and development program.
SME sales are also critical to Oracle’s plans so it has launched the Oracle PartnerNetwork QuickStart Plus program. This is an entry-level program providing support for new Oracle VARs and ISVs that want to expand their SME businesses by selling Oracle Database and Application Server Standard Edition One and Standard Edition.
Members pay an annual fee and gain access to the OPN Competency Center and technology training roadmaps, sales and marketing kits, developer toolkits, access to the Oracle University online library, and discounts on Oracle University class registration fees.
OPN QuickStart Plus members also gain access to additional resources including a SME introductory seminar, SME sales training, a salesperson incentive program, inclusion in SME local sales campaigns, enhanced migration support, and tools including migration centers for ISVs.
OPN QuickStart Plus builds on the OPN QuickStart program launched in September 2004 and has about 400 partners. Where OPN QuickStart was designed to support partners selling Standard Edition One products into the SME market, OPN QuickStart Plus includes Standard Edition. Oracle aims to recruit over 500 new partners to the program over the next six months.
However, SAP, Oracle, and other vendors pinning their growth hopes on an SME spending boom could be in for a surprise. Research by AMI-Partners indicates that small and medium-sized businesses in the US are lagging behind other geographies when it comes to spending, with US SMEs expected to spend $2.2bn on enterprise software this year.