SAP parachutes cloud into NZ

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 12.54.22 PMSoftware giant sees channel partners and cloud key to wider New Zealand reach. 

After years of talking a good cloud story, SAP finally brought its cloud to New Zealand along with a new manager for the business.

The world’s largest business software company took the wraps off it new offering at a swanky Auckland Hilton function. There customers and business partners heard about the localised software and investments in partners. The crowd also met incoming Head of SAP Cloud Solutions for New Zealand, Keir Garrett.

SAP mainly targets larger companies with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, typically organisations with more than 200 users. There aren’t many like that in New Zealand – the company currently only has around 60 customers here.

However, it expects to reach smaller organisations as it ramps up its cloud offering. The key to winning this business lies in resellers like Soltius.

Speaking at the Hilton, Solitius general manager Nick Mulcahy said his company will now target users that have outgrown applications like Xero, but are too small to sign for SAP’s large-scale All-in-One ERP application. This will see SAP and its partners compete directly with Microsoft.

Until now Soltius has focused on working on SAP installations for large and medium-sized organisations. Mulcahy says it will now go from chasing only a handful of new customers each year to dozens. He says SAP’s cloud offering might suit businesses with as few as 10 to 20 employees.

SAP’s New Zealand sales pitch is software-as-as-service based on HANA, the proprietary fast in-memory database. The company has its own datacentres in the USA and Germany, but it also runs hosting in Australia – something it hopes will appeal to New Zealand customers. It said that eventually there will also be a local host.

For a different perspective, developer Ben Gracewood offers some highly critical thoughts about SAP and its competitors in this presentation.