SAP expects increasing uptake of its ERP systems and associated tools to continue to drive software revenues growth, reported yesterday at 22% for Q1 2006 ended 31 March. And much of that will come from SMEs and increased use of SAP across whole businesses as its technologies become more accessible. SAP spokesperson Bill Whol says that the company’s emphasis is on organic growth, rather than simply acquisition. He says SAP expects to fuel that both by rolling out its Business One low level ERP system for SMEs with manufacturing functionality from SoftBrands, but also by increasing user adoption across businesses as systems like its manufacturing-focused All in One and mySAP implementations get more office-friendly functionality. “We’re looking to branch into sectors where there’s not as much penetration – so the smaller business arena with our Business One product,” says Wohl. “We’re rolling that out on a global basis. There’s a tremendous opportunity to reach SMEs that don’t immediately think of SAP. “But the second area of growth is among a broader group of office workers. Traditionally SAP is for power users in management, purchasing and so on. But SAP products will also appeal increasingly to more business users as the power of information is put into the hands of analysts and line of business mangers.” He refers, for example to SAP’s acquisition last year of Lighthammer, providing analytics in production. “These analytical tools are more user friendly and take advantage of visual technologies prevalent on the Internet, so users that would not have been considered SAP ERP are now doing so. “And another example is the work we’re doing with Microsoft called Mendocino. That takes the familiar desktop environment of Office and inserts functionality form SAP, making it more useful to all sorts of office worker roles that then become interested in touching our ERP solutions.” Externally, he also points to the SAP partner community, which is building out the potential user community using SAP’s Netweaver platform. “There are now nearly 1,000 ISVs out there constructing innovative solutions all on the same SAP technology.” He refers, paradoxically, to recently acquired Virsa, and its range of compliance tools based on Netweaver. “That too means a whole new employee audience that becomes accessible to systems built on SAP technologies.” SAP’s assertion: expect a new wave of next generation products that keep expanding the footprint of its ERP, across industries and company sizes, but also within whole organisations.