At CeBit, SAP thinks small (business)

Known primarily for catering to big corporations, German software company announces new products, initiatives for small and midsize companies.

At the CeBit trade show this week, German enterprise software company SAP is touting a beefed-up product line for small and midsize businesses.

It's a fairly new client base for SAP, which has traditionally marketed its products to massive corporations like Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Cisco Systems. Over the past few years, however, the company has been tweaking some of its applications to better suit the needs of smaller companies--comprising a sector of the market it had pinpointed as an area for potential growth.

On Thursday, SAP touted success in this initiative when it announced at the Hannover, Germany, technology conference that it had added more than 80 new features to the SAP All-In-One package, the company's service-oriented architecture (SOA) platform for midsize companies.

Also on Thursday, the company announced enhancements to its SAP Business One product, which is geared toward small and midsize clients. These downloadable enhancements, which will be offered several times per year, are designed to provide clients with new features between major updates to the software.

According to SAP, the iterative enhancements will address such issues as security and compliance updates, best-practice tools and new features; the first of these packages will be available for download in the second quarter of 2007 and will address new finance-related features, among other things.

On-demand flexibility is a major component of SAP's attempt to court smaller clients. Last year, SAP purchased Praxis Software Solutions in an effort to improve on-demand features in Business One.

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