European software giant SAP joins hands with China Telecom to offer SMEs cloud solutions for e-commerce
SAP, Europe’s biggest software company, has teamed up with China Telecom to offer a cloud-computing solution for small companies on the Chinese mainland to run their mobile e-commerce operations.
The two companies launched in Beijing on Tuesday “SAP Anywhere”, which they said was tailored for small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to create and run an online store in minutes.
“This is an historic moment in our SME engagement,” said Rodolpho Cardenuto, the president of SAP’s global partner operations.
Walldorf, Germany-based SAP, whose customers have traditionally been large enterprises and multinational organisations, is hoping more small companies will be enticed to subscribe to its mobile e-commerce cloud offering.
“SAP Anywhere will allow smaller companies to capitalise on the digital revolution and grow their business by giving customers the ability to purchase their products anytime from anywhere,” Cardenuto said.
The company on Tuesday reported a 19 per cent increase in total software and cloud revenue to 4.12 billion euros (US$4.67 billion) in the third quarter, up from 3.46 billion euros a year ago.
New cloud bookings, the key measure for SAP’s success in the cloud business, increased 102 per cent year-on-year to 216 million euros last quarter.
Cloud computing enables companies to buy, sell, lease or distribute online a range of software and other digital resources as an on-demand service, just like electricity from a power grid.
These resources are kept and managed inside data centres. “Cloud” refers to the internet as depicted in computer network diagrams.
According to SAP, China Telecom - the country’s largest fixed-line network operator, which also runs a network of data centres on the mainland and overseas - will help customise SAP Anywhere across its own customer base.
China Telecom’s professional services operation already supports 50,000 online sellers and 40 million SMEs on the mainland, it said.
Chen Zhongyue, the deputy general manager at China Telecom, said the operator’s goal of partnering with SAP was to improve its customers’ competitiveness in the country’s fast-growing mobile e-commerce market.
SAP Anywhere allows SMEs to manage sales, marketing, e-commerce, inventory and direct customer buying operations from a single system using mobile devices, SAP said.
The cloud offering also enables SMEs, their customers and supply chain partners access to shared inventory and logistics insights in real time, backed by a unified order-management software.
Research firm eMarketer has forecast mobile e-commerce sales to account for more than half of online retail shopping in China next year.
It projected mobile e-commerce would make up 10.9 per cent of all retail sales in the country next year, and 55.5 per cent of online shopping as the sector grew to a record US$505.74 billion, up from an estimated US$333.99 billion this year.
The number of people who access the internet using mobile devices reached 594 million on the Chinese mainland at the end of June, up from 557 million in December.