What does the plant sitting inches from my desk have to do with the world's biggest business software provider? Well, here at Business.com we use a local "interior landscaping" biz that supplies live plants and maintains them for a fee. Kind of pretties up the place. In contemplating my leafy friend's corporate existence, I wondered: How does such a business -- needing lots of plants, numerous clients like us, billing and reporting systems plus plenty of folks to fuss over the foliage -- keep track of it all?
The answer -- at least for another plant purveyor I dug into -- is SAP, perhaps the planet's preeminent business applications software provider. SAP, well known to big biz, has been aggressively unfurling its Business One application, an all-in-one package that lets small and medium businesses manage sales, distribution, financials, customer contacts and most other things in a single place.
But SAP lacks buzz when it comes to small biz more familiar with Microsoft, QuickBooks and SalesForce. That now seems to be changing as small companies such as Plant Interscapes of San Antonio adopt SAP's lower-cost small biz solutions. Plant Interscapes, with about $7 million in revenues and 70 employees, operates in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston. It relies on a SAP-aided state-of-the-art CRM system to help customers instantly reach the companies customer care desk with needs or inquiries.
A family-owned fruit biz has also tapped SAP. The Fruit Co., in Hood River, OR, is an online fruit retailer that's been in the Webster family for three generations. As a growing business, The Fruit Company wanted to get a more integrated view of its total operations, and lower overhead costs at the same time. The SAP solution fit the bill, says CEO Scott Webster.
As a giant global company SAP and its website are a little hard to navigate. The ideal place to find out more is their dedicated small business site, here.