What is SAP Business One |



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By Ryan Howe

We often get asked ‘What is SAP Business One?’ The question usually comes from people who are familiar with the solutions such as QuickbooksSage MAS 90MAS 200 or other packages like Microsoft Dynamics GP (Formally Great Plains).  When people think of SAP they usually think of ‘Big SAP.’  SAP’s market leading solutions that are targeted towards large corporations including the Fortune 500.

What many don’t realize is that SAP’s customer base is composed of 77% small businesses!  You can’t put a solution designed to run Exxon in a 30 person company and expect it to be affordable, efficient and successful.

That’s why SAP developed SAP Business One.  A solution built from the ground up for the needs of SMBs (Small & Mid-Sized Businesses).  They knew it had to be something that could be sold, installed, trained and supported by small teams in small businesses.  It needed to be extremely easy to use, while at the same time, ensure it had rock solid reliability and followed all the appropriate accounting rules (GAAP in the US), that would earn it the respect needed in the CPA community.

It’s not hard making a solution easy to use if you can ‘bend the rules’ of accounting.  Quickbooks is so popular among small businesses because it doesn’t require you to necessarily follow the controls in place to prevent fraud.    One of the many examples is to be able to enter, print and then delete the history of a check so that you’ll never know it was cut.  If you don’t reconcile your accounts often, it could be months before you notice and that person is long gone with your money.

Having worked with literally a dozen or more ERP solutions in my career, I can say SAP has finally cracked the simplicity code.  They have managed to create a solution that is almost as easy to implement, configure and use as Quickbooks, but still maintaining the compliancy so you can sleep at night knowing you aren’t being embezzled or your financial statements aren’t being manipulated.

‘What is SAP Business One?’  We still hear this all the time.  It’s too bad Accounting and ERP software can’t be marketed like Coke or Tide and we wouldn’t be asked this question.  But as word of mouth spreads, we are now hearing more often ‘Why should I use SAP Business One?’

Let’s just answer the question, ‘What is SAP Business One?’

SAP Business One or SAP B1 as some people call it, is a single solution that is affordable for running an entire small and mid-sized company.  It includes all the major areas of most organizations including financials, sales, customer relationship management, vendor relationship management, inventory, purchasing, light manufacturing, project tracking, planning and reporting.

It’s built on the rock solid Microsoft SQL Server Database and also now supports SAP’s own HANA in memory database which is their fastest growing product line.  So unlike ‘last generation’ small business solutions such as QuickBooks or Sage ERP 100 (MAS90, MAS200), it has incredible performance and reliability.  Go ahead, pull the plug out of the server while doing a year end closing.  SAP Business One just eats unexpected server problems for breakfast!  (Please don’t try this at home kids…) The bottom line is you won’t experience environmental data corruption, something that plagues older client-server solutions like QuickBooks and QuickBooks Enterprise.

SAP Business One’s approach to software provides many benefits including:

  • Lower costs by minimizing training requirements.  It even includes hyperlinks to free on-line video training in context of the related screens
  • Enterprise Search – Find any data instantly.  Enter an invoice number and the system will show you where it appears in any transactions
  • Improved customer relationships – When different people assist you customers but know all the past conversations, emails and business transactions that took place, your customers feel like you care about them
  • Industry specific solutions – Hands down SAP Business One has the largest ecosystem of 3rd party providers that have built solutions in their open and extensible architecture to cover nearly any industry in any country.  No solution comes close to the vastness of this well tested, certified and regulated community.  You all know why Apple and later Android succeeded where predecessors like Palm and BlackBerry failed…Apps.  Well that’s what the SAP Partner Community and their solutions are to ERP software.
  • Focus on your business and save time – Don’t waste time trying to use and figure out complex software.  Apple has proven that simplicity and ease of use outweighs the ‘throw in the kitchen sink’ approach to features that few use but yet slows down and clutters so many older designed technology products.
  • Increase your bottom line – When a system is integrated across modules, including ones that many competitors expect you to bolt another solution on for, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) it reduces redundant data entry, complex or manual reporting to combine data, errors and delays

When people ask you ‘What is SAP Business One?’ Tell them:

  • SAP Business One makes duplicate data entry a thing of the past
  • SAP Business One makes managing revenue, expenses and most importantly, Cash Flow, easy and fast so you can quickly respond to changing business and market conditions
  • SAP Business One gives me greatly enhanced access to the right information at the right time so my company and I can make the best business decisions

What is SAP Business One,  A Summary:

As explained above, SAP Business One is a modern ERP solution designed for a streamlined implementation and fast return on investment (ROI).   It’s designed to be rapidly implemented, easily supported, and quickly customized to your unique business process rather than you having to change your business to fit the solution.

Ryan Howe

Ryan Howe

Partner, Clients First Business Solutions New Jersey

Ryan Howe is a Certified Public Accountant turned SAP Business One consultant. Leading the SAP Business One practice at Clients First, Ryan has over 23 years’ experience in the financial management and ERP industry, specializing in business analysis, relationship building, and business process optimization. When he’s not helping customers leverage SAP Business One to meet their short and long-term needs, you can find him at any Michigan State sporting event with his family – go Spartans!