SAP is wooing SMES with online ecommerce capabilities through its acquisition of privately held Praxis.
Technology from Praxis will be incorporated into SAP Business One to help SMEs set up online stores and deploy CRM via the Internet.
The main functional gains are Praxis' NetPoint Commerce - an ecommerce package that offers customizable shopping-cart and customer support functions, designed to handle data access for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer needs on a single Web site - and NetPoint Focus applications which expand Business One's CRM capabilities by integrating campaign management and prospecting functions.
Rival SME Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor NetSuite was unimpressed by the move. "SAP's acquisition of Praxis is an attempt to try to match NetSuite's Ecommerce capabilities," claimed NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson. "While acquisition by SAP of Praxis validates NetSuite's incorporation of Ecommerce as a core element of business application suites for SMEs, it misses the mark in two key areas.
"First, by acquiring an ecommerce solution - rather than creating a seamless solution from the ground up as NetSuite has done - SAP is simply bolting on a web store. This will limit the functional capability of the SAP solution when compared with NetSuite.
"Second, the SAP and Praxis solutions are "stone-age" on-premise applications, clearly the wrong delivery model for SMEs who are selecting on-demand software for their future needs. One look at the list of requirements to run Praxis (not to mention SAP Business One) will scare any SME away. If you have courage, look at the Praxis requirements page - it is not for the faint of heart!"