Exclusive Updated SAP has begun the process of shutting down its cloud-based SAP Anywhere suite for small businesses.
The German enterprise giant is sending out notices to customers informing them it has decided to end the service. Organizations are being offered refunds on the remaining terms of their subscription contract, provided they agree not to sue SAP.
SAP did not return a request for comment on the matter.
Pitched as a "front office solution" for small businesses, SAP Anywhere bundled CRM, customer service, ordering, and inventory management tools under a single web-based interface. The idea was for the big-biz SAP to scale its offerings down into the small and medium-sized business (SMB) space with a cloud service to compete with the likes of Salesforce.com.
It appears, however, that the suite did not go as well as hoped, Salesforce remains triumphant, and SAP looks to be cutting its losses. In letters seen by The Register this month, SAP informed its punters:
We regret to inform you that SAP has made the decision to sunset the SAP Anywhere service. We understand this might come as a surprise to you, but rest assured we have not taken this decision without careful consideration.
We would like to offer you a full refund of the fees paid by your company to SAP under the current term of your subscription. This offer is subject to your acceptance and confirmation to waive any claims against SAP.
That SAP Anywhere is winding down won't be a surprise to regular Reg readers. Back in April 2017, SAP began turning away new customers from its all-in-one small business service in Europe. At the time, the Euro giant said it wanted to focus SAP Anywhere on the US and Chinese markets.
Now it sounds as though the biz is pulling the plug entirely on the cloud suite.
One customer, speaking to The Reg, said the service often appeared to be poorly suited for SMBs that lacked dedicated IT staff. Support was often slow to respond to requests, and the web portal could be difficult for non-technical customers – a sizable part of the small business market – to manage, they told us.
Our source likened the experience of large-business specialist SAP trying to run a small biz service for customers without IT admins to "getting a college professor to teach kindergarten," and said: "It definitely did not do everything they implied it would do."
"I think their biggest issue is they didn't understand their customers," our reader added.
SAP Anywhere is giving its subscribers 30 days from when they receive their letters to move off the platform before their accounts are decommissioned. Thus, if the last letters are sent out this week, the service will go dark around the end of April. ®
Updated to add
SAP has confirmed The Register's scoop with the following statement:
To help our customers transform and thrive in a competitive digital economy, SAP is continuing to research and develop new cloud solutions, while making cloud acquisitions that can best support customers. From time to time, we evaluate our current solution portfolio and make changes based on our overall cloud ERP strategy. As such, we have decided to sunset the SAP Anywhere solution. We will be working closely with our customers to help them transition off the product and to find a new SAP solution that best fits their needs.