For the last 4 months a team of people at SAP have working away to produce a special version of SAP Business One – the SAP Business One starter package.
This version is specifically designed for small businesses who need a business management application for 5 users or less.
So what’s so special about that I hear you ask?
There are lots of applications available on the market that address the needs of smaller businesses such as Quickbooks, MYOB or Peachtree not to mention the many different applications that are available in specific countries around the world such as Lexware in Germany, Visma in the Nordics, Ufida in China or Tally in India.
So does the market really need one more solution?
Our customers and partners have told us loud and clear, that when it comes from SAP, the answer is an emphatic yes!
So what makes the SAP Business One starter package so different to all the other solutions on the market today?
Well it really comes down to 3 things…well, 4 actually.
So let me address the first of these issues in this post…but over the next few posts I’ll cover each of the three other topics in detail.
If you look at most of the solutions on the market today designed for small businesses or SOHO (small office, home office) businesses they traditionally focus on delivering the core capabilities to enable you to do basic customer and supplier management, invoicing, purchasing, record basic stock codes and produce a profit and loss statement and balance sheet.
They also run on smaller back end databases and have limited options for growth usually requiring a complete replacement once you grow out of them. And the majority f the solutions on the market today assume that you’ll run different software if you need CRM or marketing functionality and they assume that you’ll be happy to buy additional software if you want mobile access to your data via iPad or iPhone.
Or worse, they assume that you don’t need it at all and close their solutions to this kind of access.
So that’s where the starter package of SAP Business One fits in.
The software offers all of the above basic functionality of course but goes many steps further.
With SAP Business One, you’ll be using Microsoft SQL Server as the back end database – in fact you can start with the Express Edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 which is free and supports you if you have a database of up to x gigabytes and once you grow beyond that, you can migrate seamlessly to the Standard Edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 by purchasing the necessary licenses….your data is ready to go with no upgrade required.
Secondly, the functionality in the SAP Business One starter package delivers integrated sales order processing, delivery and invoicing capabilities – rich inventory management as well as the ability to manage your purchasing and the suppliers you purchase from.
In fact, with the SAP Business One starter package, you have access to customer relationship management and supplier relationship management with the ability to track all your interactions with your customers, manage your sales opportunities and track and manage all your interactions with your suppliers with integration to Microsoft Office 2010 via Outlook, Word and Excel if that’s your productivity solution of choice.
Plus every user of the SAP Business One starter package will be able to access their core data via iPhone, iPad or even via WiFi connected iPod touch via the SAP Business One mobile application which can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store.
And finally, taking the whole solution to the next level is the ability to create and access rich reports via the included SAP Crystal Reports solution as well as being able to access and manage the business against key performance indicators from within the SAP Business One cockpit via SAP Crystal Dashboard Design driven dashboards.
So if this has you thinking…I’d like to see more and learn more about the SAP Business One starter package and whether or not it will fit my business, I would invite you to join me at the dedicated web site for the starter package at www.getagreatstart.com where you’ll be able to experience the solution for yourself as I will take you through demonstrations of each of the key areas in the starter package.
In my next post we’ll talk about scalability and how the SAP Business One starter package can grow to the full SAP Business One solution as your business does.