ERP vendors eye resellers for expansion

Two ERP (enterprise resource planning) software vendors are looking to resellers to target the small to medium-sized business sections of the New Zealand market. Baan has announced a strategic alliance with Auckland-based Manufact Data Systems (MDS). MDS will offer the entire suite of Baan's ERP software to small to medium-sized manufacturing and distribution companies in both New Zealand and Australia. Meanwhile, SAP expects to announce soon whether it will appoint resellers in New Zealand, targeting smaller companies under $200 million in turnover.

Two ERP (enterprise resource planning) software vendors are looking to resellers to target the small to medium-sized business sections of the New Zealand market.

Baan has announced a strategic alliance with Auckland-based Manufact Data Systems (MDS). MDS will offer the entire suite of Baan’s ERP software to small to medium-sized manufacturing and distribution companies in both New Zealand and Australia.

Meanwhile, SAP expects to announce soon whether it will appoint resellers in New Zealand, targeting smaller companies under $200 million in turnover.

Baan New Zealand general manager Mike Murphy says the new partnership will help Baan take its ERP products to segments of the market where it is not yet well known, and where there is a “definite and very wrong” perception that Baan is only for large organisations.

Murphy says the Baan suite of software was actually developed at the small to medium-sized end of the market, and grew upwards into large Baan customers such as Boeing. He says that until about five years ago a large Baan customer was around the 40- to 50-user level.

He says that with Baan’s dynamic enterprise modelling (DEM), smaller organisations can take advantage of technologies that were previously only available to large manufacturers. DEM maps out business processes prior to and during software implementation.

MDS managing director Ian Parker says that until now MDS has only sold applications it developed itself, and chose Baan because it is a global product, is state of the art and is backed by a strong R&D budget.

He says it complements MDS’s own products for contractors, manufacturers, distributors and transportation companies.

MDS has begun training its people in Baan implementation and is recruiting three more specialists.

SAP is also fighting a similar perception to Baan in the small to medium-sized market, and regularly states that its R/3 software was designed for that size of enterprise but was taken up by larger organisations because it was so feature-rich.

SAP general manager Geraldine McBride says SAP is doing market research, and if resellers are warranted, they will be in place by the end of March next year.

McBride says the reseller will be “a one-stop shop, a company that’s got national coverage”.

SAP chief operating officer for Australia and New Zealand Anthony Harris says resellers haven’t been used by SAP in New Zealand until now because it’s a much smaller market than Australia (where it has two resellers). He says the aim of having a reseller is to lower the cost of sale.

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