SAP will shut down SAP Anywhere service for SMBs Credit: Peter Sayer/IDG

SAP will shut down SAP Anywhere service for SMBs

SAP has decided to “sunset” a front-office service with which it hoped to crack the small business market.

Launched in May 2016, SAP Anywhere was supposed to help small companies build online stores, create marketing campaigns, manage inventory and analyze business performance. To achieve this it offered integrations with web services from Google, PayPal and United Parcel Service.

Perhaps more surprising than SAP’s retreat from the small-business market is how little ground it won there.

Despite a worldwide footprint, with launches in the U.S., China and across Europe, SAP Anywhere has fewer than 60 customers -- and almost half of those are inactive, said an SAP representative.

Inactive customers have been given 30 days notice, while active customers will be supported to the end of their current contract, said the representative.

“The needs of each customer are unique, but we will offer alternatives wherever suitable and we will be interacting with each active customer,” he said via email.

SAP Anywhere was sold as a service on a one-year contract, paid annually in advance. A 5-user license cost $534 per month, with additional users charged at $52 per month. The service had an upper limit of 500 users.

So what options do the handful of still-active SAP Anywhere customers have?

If they stay with SAP, they might try Business One or Business ByDesign, both with more fully fledged ERP capabilities than SAP Anywhere could offer -- but with their more mid-market focus, a corresponding increase in management and licensing complexity.

SAP doesn’t issue a pricelist for either product, but says prospective customers should contact it or a partner for a quote. Business One runs either on premises or in the cloud, while Business ByDesign runs in either public or private clouds, with a minimum of 20 or 200 users respectively.

If they want to look elsewhere, then the remaining SAP Anywhere users have a much wider choice of cloud-based CRM and other front-office tools.

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