SAP to focus on small businesses with launch of SMB Solutions Group

The German enterprise software giant already offers products for mid-market companies, but says the SMB division is designed specifically for businesses with 500 employees or less.

SAP is refocusing its efforts on small businesses with the launch of the SMB Solutions Group.

The German enterprise software giant already offers products for mid-market companies, but says the new SMB division is designed specifically for businesses with 500 employees or less.

The new unit will become the main entry point for SAP's SMB customers and partners, led by former NetSuite sales head Dean Mansfield.

Mansfield will lead the current SAP Business One application portfolio, which will continue to operate through the Global Partner Operations organization, as well as focus on building out SMB business applications on SAP HANA.

Having a unit dedicated to SMBs will likely help SAP increase its presence in a market that's predicted to reach IT spending of about $680 billion by 2018. SAP is built around the enterprise and a hefty chunk of its services still target large businesses. But as IDC's Ray Boggs noted, SMBs are playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, and traditional enterprise vendors should take notice.

"SMBs are being transformed through the use of mobile devices and cloud computing," Boggs said. "The opportunity for firms to sharpen their products, refine distribution strategy and appeal to new customers has never been greater."

The SMB announcement Thursday comes on the same day SAP released its second quarter fiscal earnings .

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