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Applications

SAP expands small-business push

The business software maker expands an initiative to target small and medium-size businesses with five new software packages and plans for at least 20 more.

Business software maker SAP expanded an initiative to target small and medium-size businesses Tuesday with five new software packages and plans for at least 20 more by the end of the year.

The new products are part of SAP's All-in-One set of business applications, which the Walldorf, Germany, company introduced last spring. The software is based on SAP's popular line of high-end accounting, sales, human resources and manufacturing software used by many of the world's largest companies. SAP has "simplified" the software for its All-in-One program in an effort to target companies that earn less than $1 billion in revenue annually, said Nils Herzberg, a senior vice president at SAP.

The five newest All-in-One products are each designed for a different industry, including cosmetics, food and semiconductors. The software is available through a network of SAP resellers, including Hewlett-Packard.

While SAP has many medium-size customers in Germany, it has yet to make major inroads with such companies in North America despite previous attempts over the years to expand into the market. The stakes are higher this time around because Microsoft has entered the fray with the acquisitions of Great Plains and Navision, as well as the introduction this year of customer relationship management (CRM) software for small businesses.

SAP also offers software for companies with as few as 10 employees with a product called Business One, which it plans to release in the United States by June.