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SAP (NYSE: SAP) launched its on-demand ERP offering ByDesign in August in Mexico, where it has already closed some contracts, and will look to include the rest of Latin America during 2012 with Brazil as the first stop, Chris Powell, head of marketing for Latin America and the Caribbean, told BNamericas.
"We see the cloud as an extension of how our customers want to work. We're looking for ways in which our customers will be able to save on resources, whether it's with hardware or software, or faster time to implement," he said. "We feel we have a complete cloud offering - the functionality of our entire suite is found on the cloud today."
"I think the ByDesign offering is extremely strong when compared with the solutions from key competitors such as Totvs," Powell added.
There are some challenges associated, though, as the sales approach can be different when talking about the cloud model. "It's a different type of customer conversation than what we've had in the past, a different sales model," he said. "Any type of change like that in a company such as SAP, where we've had a stable and solid sales model for a number of years - that's some of the challenge."
The other challenge is in getting customers to move beyond their legacy systems, "so it's about making sure there's the right understanding in the market and that people really do have interaction with the products," the marketing executive noted.
One of the main growth opportunities in driving overall coverage in Latin America will be through the channel, he said, in order to drive co-innovation, sales and implementation.
To read the full interview with Powell, see this week's IT Perspectives, for subscribers only.