You built a thriving business. You created a website. And on your website you have a store where customers can buy your product. You’re done, right? Maybe not.
In today’s digital economy, customers expect more than just an online store. They expect to connect with businesses whenever and wherever they want — on any device or in any store, with a direct way to access post-sales support and build a longer-term relationship. In fact, customers increasingly expect the connection to begin long before they arrive at your online store. Proactive marketing efforts that include a content-rich experience help customers build a connection with your company, and provide a path to easily find you online.
Managing this experience is a growing challenge for small businesses. On one hand, these companies need to expand their online presence to address competitors that are emerging across several fronts. On the other hand, the ever-increasing amount of data produced by these online systems make it harder for these companies to manage the business across spreadsheets and systems that aren’t designed for today’s fast-changing business world. Taken together, the resulting complexity can easily crush the ability of a growing company to scale.
The good news is that technology innovation is opening the door for small businesses to easily and economically leverage technology once considered the domain of large companies. In May 2015, SAP announced its new SAP Anywhere product and as of 2nd March it is now available in the UK. The latest addition to the SAP SME Solutions portfolio, this integrated front-office suite has received high praise.
The product addresses an important customer need, and marks the latest example of how SAP provides its small business customers with the technology they need to help their business succeed in today’s increasingly complex world.
By combining the most important capabilities into one complete front-office solution that is affordable and easy to use, forward-thinking small businesses are saving time, generating revenue, and uncovering new opportunities. With this type of system, companies can more effectively manage the continuous cycle of customer lead generation, acquisition, and retention.
SAP Anywhere is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering run by SAP in a public cloud with mobile and desktop capabilities, and enables small businesses to offer a multichannel buying experience to their customers. It seamlessly manages sales, marketing, e-commerce, inventory, and after-sales support activities in one system, helping small businesses with their customer lead generation, acquisition, and retention activities (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: SAP Anywhere helps SMEs with customer lead generation, acquisition, and retention
With this entirely new solution, SAP aims to deliver constant innovation to small businesses as part of its vision to help companies run simply. As Ray Boggs, Vice President, Small and Medium Business Research at IDC, points out, “It meets a number of unmet needs in helping smaller firms engage more efficiently with customers. And it is designed with mobility in mind, operating the way a growing number of SMEs want to work.”
With SAP Anywhere, all of these features are provided in one complete and automated system that is integrated with SAP Business One back-office capabilities.
To create SAP Anywhere, SAP used the same development team that built SAP Business One, SAP’s ERP solution available on premise or in the cloud for small and midsize enterprises. As a result, SAP Anywhere and SAP Business One fully complement each other with out-of-the-box integration.
SAP Anywhere seamlessly manages sales, marketing, e-commerce, inventory, and after-sales support activities in one system, helping small businesses with their customer lead generation, acquisition, and retention activities.
Neil ran his first SAP transformation programme in his early twenties. He spent the next 18 years working both client side and for various consultancies running numerous SAP programmes. After successfully completing over 15 full lifecycles he took a senior leadership/board position and his work moved onto creating the same success for others.