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SAP's SME business is growing strongly in Latin America. It's doing so well that it may serve as a model for SAP worldwide.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Latin America has traditionally lagged other emerging markets like Asia on most comparisons. However, in one area it is ahead. As a model for German software giant SAP and its business with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

"The Latin American team has set the standard for us," says Hans-Peter Klaey, president of SAP's Global SME unit. "I'm very impressed with the local team [including] their knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for SME. I would like to replicate that around the globe."

GROWTH CHAMPION

For the past two years, Latin America has been the fastest-growing region for German software giant SAP.  The company does not release specific figures for Latin America, but Forrester Research estimates the company posted revenues of $641 million in the region last year. "This is still around 5 percent of SAP's total revenues, but given the poorer performance of North America, the significance of Latin America is not lost on SAP," says Forrester analyst Ray Wang.

A large part of SAP's Latin American success is due to the strong expansion of its  business with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), which accounted for 70 percent of its revenues in the region last year and 45 percent of new clients.  By comparison, SME accounts for 30 percent of SAP's total revenues worldwide. "In Latin America, the SME business for us extremely important," Klaey says. "It represents a major share...45 percent of new names growth in Latin America."

The strong success has been spurred by a combination of factors, including...

Keywords: Asia, demographics, management, Luis Murguia, partner program, referral program

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