The Power of Small: Target Customers for What They Will BeThe Power of Small: Target Customers for What They Will Be
Everyone loves The Big Deal. Securing a large contract with an enterprise customer can mean the difference between a good year and a great year for a solution provider. But chasing that “big” reward also involves risk.
May 5, 2014
Everyone loves The Big Deal.
Securing a large contract with an enterprise customer can mean the difference between a good year and a great year for a solution provider. But chasing that “big” reward also involves risk. You might spend a great deal of time and money developing a plan for a customer, only to have the project canceled because of a corporate restructuring, stock price fluctuation or budget re-allocation.
Hanging your hat on one or two deals to make your year is dangerous, and that’s one reason why the small and midsize enterprise (SME) market is often referred to as the “sweet spot” for the channel. The payoffs may not be as big, but neither is the risk. Not to mention, SMEs prefer dealing with solution providers who understand and focus on their unique business needs.
Of course, there are many reasons why the channel is targeting what SAP calls the “Power of Small.” Many small and midsize businesses tend to grow faster than large enterprises, enhancing your opportunity to grow with your customer. What’s more, their IT needs will change—and expand—over time, and they will need solution providers to meet those technology needs each step along the way.
The Next Generation of Business
SMEs are responsible for many innovations that underlie their growth. After all, most small and midsize businesses are not run by groups of investors, but by individual managers keen on ensuring their ventures succeed. This is what SAP calls the “Power of Small.”
Earlier this year, SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe talked about the importance of small businesses, noting that those companies often are the ones with new ideas and serve as the engine for economic growth in an economy.
Of course, those companies often can’t get there all by themselves; they need the right business solutions that enable them to scale and act quickly. And that’s where the great opportunity lies for the channel.
SMEs may not be filling your coffers today, or making the difference between a good year and a great year, but collectively they can make you money now — including substantial recurring revenue — and set you up for additional growth in the future.
Real Opportunities Now: Cloud & Big Data
The SME market also is ripe for technology investment, particularly around cloud solutions. According to IDC, small and midsize business spending on cloud-based technology expects to grow almost 20 percent annually over the next four years. Those companies are employing both public and private cloud models, and quite likely a combination. But that transition does not come easy, and solution providers offering cloud-based solutions tailored to SMEs hold a distinct advantage.
Then there’s Big Data. While there are many ways SMEs can benefit from Big Data, too many of them (and too many VARs) still think the subject is too complex or too big to handle. But as I wrote last December, that’s not the case. Again, solution providers — as trusted IT and business advisers — hold the keys to unlock those doors.
No SME Left Behind
SMEs face major challenges: information gaps and lack of access to customers, funding and talent. IT can help change this, of course, by removing the shortage of information that drives lenders, buyers and job-seekers to the best-known companies.
That’s where you can step in. Talk to your small and midsize customers and prospects to let them know you understand their pain points, their growth challenges and their desire to innovate and become the best-run company in their space.
Don’t tell them you have the technology to help them get there—they’ve heard that before. Show them how technology solutions can solve their business problems and help them become more efficient and more productive.
How are you helping your SME business customers become large enterprises? We’d love to read your comments below.
SAP offers partners a complete portfolio of end-to-end business solutions that include applications such as ERP as well as analytics and databases. All of these solutions can be powered by SAP HANA, the powerful real-time computing platform; are mobile-ready; and can be delivered via on-premise, cloud or through a hybrid model. SAP solutions are made to address the challenges of customers by line of business and across 25 industries.
Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://www.sappartneredge.com/portfolio
Ira Simon is vice president, Partner Marketing at SAP. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship.
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