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SAP reorganizes SME channel, expands partner system

SAP has reorganized its SME channel to improve partner recruitment, enablement and marketing.

Patricia Hume, senior vice president of SAP’s global indirect channel unit, stopped by world headquarters today to tell us about the reorganization. She explained that the basic org structure before consisted of a sales team and a marketing team. Now, there are more subsets designed to meet specific goals.

For example, partner recruitment will take a more “holistic” approach, Hume said. SAP will target the channel community en masse, as opposed to specific campaigns for VARs or integrators. The reorg will also put more focus on “enablement,” as Hume called it — more resources and training for both partners and SAP’s internal channel teams.

Another subset will put more emphasis on marketing to and communicating with partners, and SAP’s strategic alliances team — which deals mostly with OEM partners — is also being pulled in. In addition, Hume hinted at a new program, to be announced soon, that will focus on global channel management.

The other bit of news that Hume discussed during her visit was the SAP Extended Business program. The program will provide marketing materials, training and other resources to companies that partner with members of SAP PartnerEdge but aren’t members themselves.

Hume said SAP Extended Business will take advantage of these partner-to-partner relationships that already exist in many cases, legitimize the companies that collaborate with SAP partners and ultimately drive more sales. There are already 40 PartnerEdge members and 135 Extended Business partners participating worldwide, and the company’s goal is to have 500 Extended Business partners by the end of the year, Hume added.

Extended Business follows in the footsteps of a program that SAP launched this spring, which pays advisors and consultants who recommend SAP ERP products to paying customers. Both programs are designed to expand SAP’s partner system.

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