Tech giant SAP (SAP) is working with its channel partners to expand its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customer base by "simplifying everything."
"It needs to be almost a consumer-like experience." SAP Channel Chief Kevin Gilroy told The VAR Guy. "Ease of procurement, ease of consumption, ease of deployment, a delightful experience—not a grinding experience."
To challenge the way SAP works with SMEs, Gilroy has established a standing Simplification Task Force in his division. The group meets every Monday to "simplify everything," including operations, legal, finance, enablement, product development and marketing, Gilroy said.
Take a look at it from another angle. It's more about walking in the shoes of customers and prospects, explained Hernan Marino, SAP Global Marketing senior vice president.
"We take a look at SAP from the outside, and we see how much we can simplfy things we do," he said.
One example of SAP following through with this strategy is a company project called One Digital Experience (1DX), wherein SAP simplifies the way customers interact with the company through the web.
The company learned there was "a big gap" between the way it interacted directly with customers and connected with customers through the web. In the future, SMEs will see a simplified web experience with SAP, Marino said.
More recently, SAP launched a "buy now, pay later" offering to provide SME customers with zero percent financing for up to 24 months for the purchase of any SAP product on the reseller price list. This announcement was made a few weeks ago at CeBIT 2014.
For channel partners deploying cloud services, this offering assists with the struggles of cash flow, Gilroy pointed out.
"In this buy now, pay later, the end customers has the ability to pay over 24 months to the finacing company," he says, "the channel partner gets paid in days."
The buy now, pay later initiative will be available initially in Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.