We’ve all heard stories about SAP implementations for large enterprises—they are expensive and take months. But you can forget all that because SAP Business One is tailor-made for small to midsize enterprises. It costs less than SAP for large enterprise and can be implemented in weeks.
When most people think of SAP, they think of the original core ERP that SAP is famous for, ECC (or Enterprise Central Component). While robust and infinitely scalable, ECC is an implementation challenge, to say the least. Full implementation can take six months or longer and, of course, costs a fortune.
Small to midsize enterprises (SME for short) can't handle this kind of expense of both time and money. Therefore, SMEs have traditionally been limited to either accounting software combined with spreadsheets or small business ERPs of inferior quality.
But SAP’s product for the SME market, SAP Business One, makes it possible for SMEs to get a world-class ERP at a cost they can afford.
SAP Business One Vs. ECC
In contrast to ECC, SAP Business One has these advantages for SMEs:
- SAP Business One is a comprehensive, self-contained ERP. It does not require expensive, separately-licensed components to make it truly useful to most companies. It was inspired by SAP's flagship ERP, ECC, but was designed to fit the needs of the small and midsize enterprise market.
- Though not as comprehensive as ECC, SAP Business One has plenty of flexibility and extensibility to allow the user to tailor it to their company's needs.
- SAP Business One implementation is relatively easy and quick, taking weeks, not months.
- With SAP Business One, users have access to real time information in the most critical areas of the business.
- Using SAP Business One is easy, thus eliminating the need to train, train and re-train staff.
- SAP Business One is inexpensive, with licensing alone being about 1/5 of ECC, depending on the configuration. In addition, custom-tailored enterprise licensing programs are available.
But What about the Capabilities?
As previously stated, SAP Business One has all the capabilities that the typical (or atypical, for that matter) SME needs, including:
- Accounting and financial management. Most users probably started with a simple accounting package, like Quicken. Moving up to SAP Business One gives them a more powerful and versatile platform.
- Customer relationship management (CRM). Long the domain of only the major players, SAP Business One's CRM puts the full power of customer relationship (or resource) management into the SME's hands. The CRM package is optional to users of SAP Business One.
- Warehouse management and production management.
- Purchasing and procurement support.
- Reporting and analytics. (SAP owns the former Business Objects, which was and is one of the top analytics and reporting solutions companies).
- Integration solutions.
- Important metrics, which you pre-identify, are presented to you through an automatic alert system which saves you from having to query the system to get information.
- Human Resources, budgeting and workflow are managed by SAP Business One so that businesses with limited resources do not have to rely on third parties for these functions.
- Unlimited scalability. As your business grows, SAP Business One will grow with it until you are ready to move up to ECC.
SAP Business One is the best choice for the SME market. Taking its cue from its ERP predecessor, ECC, SAP Business One has all the basic functionality plus enough of the bells and whistles to make your business thrive.
But any software that is going to play so vital a role in your business needs to be configured to your workflow. For that reason, it's important that you enlist the help of a partner, an SAP integration expert.
The right partner will listen to your needs and future vision and will help you make sure that your SAP Business One implementation is configured to maximize the opportunity to take your business to the next level.
Further Reading: How Much Does SAP Business One Cost? It Depends on You