As a company SAP is anything but a failure. It is a very large, successful and growing company. Yet there is one area where they failed; this is bringing the proper business tools to millions of small and medium-sized companies worldwide.
According to the Census Bureau, companies with less than 100 employees account for 98% of the total number of companies and represent over 35% of the active workforce in the United States. This proportion is even higher in other regions of the world. The vast majority of these companies do not have access to the right software to manage their activities.
Maybe they have no need? I am just curious to meet the first business owner who would not need to manage his customer acquisition or manufacturing or customer support and after sales service or collection or its team. I have never met one. Small businesses have often similar needs as large companies; they just have fewer resources.
Other vendors have embraced this challenge pouring hundreds of millions of dollars in product development and sales efforts to reach these customers. Yet Excel and QuickBooks (or the equivalent in other regions) remain the favorite management tools of most businesses. Customers expect something which is impossible to deliver. They expect powerful, flexible, easy to use and affordable solutions. They expect something so intuitive that would require almost no training to use. They have very limited or no IT resources. They would love to have an integrated business solution but will not dedicate the time required to deploy an ERP.