After bringing its on-demand enterprise resource planning (ERP) to the Canadian market in February, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) has inked its largest worldwide Business ByDesign win to date right here in Canada.
SAP announced this week that R3D Consulting, an IT project management and strategic consulting firm based in Montreal, has signed-on as a ByDesign customer and is in the process of rolling-out the solution to 450 consultants spread among offices in Montreal Quebec City, Detroit, Mexico City and Paris. R3D Consulting is also an SAP partner with 65 SAP consultants on staff, focusing on SAP Business Suite and the automotive, metal, and pulp and paper verticals.
While R3D was an SAP partner, it wasn't already an SAP user, said Bernard Roy, R3D's president and COO. It has a 10-year old financials system that no longer met its needs, and with rapid growth of 95 per cent over the last 24 months he said it was at the point where going to SAP made sense, and the added functionality around CRM, forecasting and analytics was a must.
"To support our strategy and goals, we needed to improve our systems to support that growth," said Roy. "When we saw SAP ByDesign in a cloud environment, we thought this was the perfect solution to give us the backbone to support our growth."
R3D has a choice of having its data hosted in the U.S. or Germany, and Roy said he was comfortable choosing Germany. He said the cloud is an interesting model for a business of R3D's size, and he feels more confident about security with a vendor like SAP hosting and managing the solution.
"There's quality assurance around security a company like SAP brings to the table we couldn't implement on our own," said Roy. "It's important for me to work with a company that's very solid."
With R3D's dispersed workforce, Roy sees benefits around security, accessibility and quality of data by moving to the system, a move that's underway now and scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
And as R3D's consultants work with SAP on the implementation and learn more about ByDesign's capabilities, the security issues and the challenges, Roy said it's likely they'll add ByDesign to the SAP offerings they implement and support for their own clients.
"We'll have a better understanding and be in a better position to advise our clients in this area, and we'll see if it's a line of service we'd like to add," said Roy. "Right now it's our intent to do it, but a final decision has not been made."
Rene Giguere, vice-president of small and medium-sized enterprise for SAP Canada, said the R3D win is a demonstration of SAP's Canadian leadership and the momentum that has developed behind ByDesign since the launch here in February.
"The acceptance continues. They're not all this size, but we're adding new customers regularly," said Giguere.
A strong channel push also continues in Canada around ByDesign, with training held recently in Toronto to get more partners up to speed and enabled to bring ByDesign to market. Interest has been strong not just in the mid-market, said Giguere, but also from large enterprises looking interested in ByDesign for their smaller subsidiaries.
"We continue to look for and recruit new partners, and we're really happy to see that maybe R3D will be one in the near future," said Giguere. "Demand over the last few quarters has really been picking up."
Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.