The advent of cloud, mobile and social brought previously unimaginable opportunities to large and small companies. Small companies — even mom-and-pop shops —suddenly had access to much of the same computing power as enterprises. 

But leveraging that computing power required dedicated IT personnel or at least a few power users, which stopped many small companies from exploring the possibilities.

SAP aims to change that.

Walldorf, Germany-based SAP today unveiled the general availability of SAP Anywhere in the US, a mobile-first, cloud-first front office solution built specifically for the small to medium business (SMB) market. 

The release came on the eve of the company's annual user conference being held this week in Orlando, Fla. 

A Front Office Solution for SMBs

"It's geared toward individuals who are running their companies on Excel spreadsheets, or maybe GoDaddy," EJ Jackson, president and general manager, SAP Anywhere, SAP told CMSWire.

SAP's SaaS application is focused on e-commerce, wholesale, inventory, order management, multichannel and omnichannel commerce capabilities. Part of its beauty is that it integrates, out-of-the-box, with complementary services from the likes of Google, PayPal, eBay, Amazon and soon, United Parcel Service (UPS).

Jackson claimed that the service, which can run on a mobile phone or tablet, is "low touch, finger-friendly, easy to consume." Business owners can set it up for themselves or take advantage of SAP's startup services.

Regardless which option a business chooses, "We've already done all of the heavy lifting for you,"said Jackson, noting that little effort is needed to start digital campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and the like.

Learning Opportunities

Though the service wasn't generally available in the US until today, SAP did attract some impressive users for the beta such as baseball great Reggie Jackson and his startup Reggie’s Garage.

The company released SAP Anywhere in China in the fall of 2015 and unveiled in the UK in March. At this point, the kinks are all worked out and it's a tried and tested solution, according to Jackson.

Analysts Weigh In on SAP Anywhere

"SAP has made many valiant attempts at winning SMB business on the ERP side," R Ray Wang, founder of Constellation Research told CMSWire. "This CRM offering brings together the right partnerships and helps SMBs from 10 to 200 employees put the power of the cloud for front office processes."

His colleague Holger Mueller is similarly impressed."SAP does a good job to reduce the cost of integration with partnerships like Google and PayPal," he told CMSWire. But he would like to see more of the road map moving forward.

Jackson, for his part, is likely watching to see what kind of customers will adopt the software and how they'll use it. He pointed CMSWire to Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger, a Los Angeles-based accessories maker, which uses SAP Anywhere to run its storefronts in China and its wholesale and e-tail operations in the US.

"SMB's (small and medium businesses) are at a tipping point," said Jackson. And SAP is hoping to help them go to the next level.