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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thank you, Mr.Kagermann

So, SAP has unveiled its Business By Design (BBD) program – the latest on-demand offering from its stable aimed at small businesses, that runs on SAP's own servers and be accessible over the Internet for as little as $54 a month.

Now it remains to be seen how soon or long does it take for CEO Henning Kagermann and his team to leverage BBD for his $13 billion company's efforts to expand its customer base from the current 42,000 to 100,000 by 2010, in particular customers with 100 to 500 employees.

They say it carries a new risk. I am not sure how much of a risk it is even if partners, VARs, SIs, and others get less enthusiastic, since end users can download and install BBD by themselves. But then, that’s also the idea – to eliminate middlemen and cut some costs in the process. In the final tally, it isn’t how MANY partners someone has, but how good they are at supporting their customer’s goals that count. I’m a lot more impressed with vendors who have a few hundred of the right partners than with the “army of ants” strategies, where the number of partners is very high, but it turns out there are thousands included in the count with minimal skills and very thin relationships to their partner.

Customer first, any day. Thank you Mr.Kagermann... hope BBD leads to customer delight !

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