SAP is making its ERP a modern platform with embedded analytics that can be deployed on cloud as well as on-premise and can be also accessed on mobile phones.
Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) today are using all kinds of technologies to improve every step in the business process, from operations to customer engagement. As a result, business systems such as ERP is helping various organisations to gain new customers, grow revenue, and improve productivity. Earlier ERP was used for financial accounting, inventory management, sales invoicing, etc., but today its scope has broadened significantly. Companies such as SAP are turning it into a modern platform that has embedded analytics that can be deployed on cloud as well as on-premise and can be accessed on mobile phones.
The German enterprise software maker has recently partnered the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises to launch Bharat ERP, a programme to digitally enable nearly 30,000 MSMEs and youth in the next three years. “We are starting with five technology centres and our plan is to reach MSMEs in the most remote corners, wherever these technology centres are present. We want to achieve this in two ways—first, to enable and train them. Second, to give them affordable and cloud ready packages that the MSMEs can adopt at entry-level costs. Globally, we are adding over a 1000 new customers every quarter; that is an average of 10 new customers every day,” informs Deb Deep Sengupta, president and managing director, SAP Indian Subcontinent.
The company will provide SAP Business One platform, the course curriculum and the content; and will train the trainers affiliated with the ministry of MSME. The ministry of MSME runs a standard programme on digital technologies at all technology centres and the ERP programme will now be a part of that specialised programme. It is a one-month
programme in which, depending upon the charter of the MSME council and the technology centers, the candidates could be entrepreneurs, professionals, educated individuals, etc. They will spend three to four hours every day, learning at the centre and at the end of that programme, they will get a joint certification from the ministry of MSME and SAP, stating that they have been trained on the SAP Business One platform. This certification will help them with their businesses and careers since SAP skills are quite in demand in the
market for employment, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities.
The software maker is planning to make its ERP interactive for MSMEs and therefore would be soon adding features such as chatbots and Internet of Things. “We are working on chatbots and IoT; because we think that within the next 15-20 years, only a small part of data entry will be done by human beings on a keyboard. In 20 years, most of the data entry will be done by sensors and devices and the role of human beings in business will be to analyse the data, monitor the performance and make decisions. Even small businesses will move to complete digital formats. So artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, etc., will broadly use mobile devices,” informs Luis Murguia, senior vice president and general manager, SAP Business One.
He further explains that in a regular ERP system, if a person need to find an invoice, he will have to do it manually by going through account receivables, invoices, customer numbers and so on. SAP HANA gives them enterprise search like Google, so one can just put key words—perhaps a product, a date or the name of the individual and it will provide a list of documents that HANA thinks that person is looking for. For a local ERP vendor to have an enterprise search feature, is a big help. So pretty soon, they are going to have SAP Business One with a chatbot that will let them interact with the system not by user command, but using a simple language. The chatbot will respond directly, as it does on social media.