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21/03/2016

Ubister, the first French partner SAP Business ByDesign

Ubister, ERP cloud solutions specialist, still tops the ranking of SAP cloud French partners in terms of turnover in the General Business category (customers making less than $ 1.3 billion in sales) and 3rd all categories confused. Pierre Gueguen, CEO of Ubister, describes the expectations of its customers in terms of 100% cloud ERP.

How do you react to this first place for SAP Business By Design in France for the 2nd consecutive year?

Ubister existed for 6 years and we aim to reach 2 million in revenue in 2016. We have just announced the recruitment of 6 additional employees to complete our team of 15 people. In rankings announced by SAP, we are surrounded by businesses in our image, storefront in the cloud and recent. All sectors confused, the only partners who are ahead of us specialize in human resources, and we are not.

How do you explain the small size of the French SAP cloud partners?

It is indeed significant that the first SAP cloud partners in France are not big companies. We participate in the emergence of a new type of players. If the cloud has become a clear priority for SAP, traditional integrators do not follow or backwards, because the cloud assignments simply relate less money and therefore does not fit into their business model.

Before the cloud, the job of the integrator was divided into 30% “soft” and 70% “spec” by including the board, the setting, the formulation of needs and to coincide them with the solution (but not too much to still sell some complex configuration and consulting). Cloud solutions require a completely different approach. Products are widely shared, very powerful and can meet a lot of needs. Customers won’t have more choice and must use the solution as such but ByDesign meets both the needs of a small business of 20 employees to those of Lloyd’s Register, a British maritime classification society which just install over 8000 stations.

How cloud conventional projects proceed on which Ubister intervene?

The cloud projects are much faster and more flexible than traditional projects. Integration no longer passes through a preliminary phase of functional adequacy, which takes a lot of work, the setting is much lighter and more precise. As the tool is powerful, we use data recovery formats and can perform both tests and training in parallel with data collection and entry. However, if the integration work decreases, the need for organizational consulting increases.

Can you complete your offer with organizational consulting services?

We believe that staying competent on the software is already complicated and we want to focus on integration. It is not excluded that one day we purchase company expert in organization if our financial resources allow it.

What is your vision of the cloud ERP market in France?

The cloud ERP market in France is complicated, far behind the US and UK, where the question no longer arises. If solution providers have all incorporated the term “cloud” in their offer, it often falls under the smokescreen and customers are fooled. There is a big difference between one side SaaS, pooled products, maintained, powerful, with mounted automatic versions, and hosting offers and IaaS, that editors would label falsely “cloud” . I believe it is impossible to promise “the best of both worlds,” on-premise and cloud.

We see ourselves as a pure SaaS player: this requires to educate clients, who are interested in the cloud but often view SaaS as a light touch, vision that we do of course not share.

What are your customers’ profiles?

A first category includes those who are very close to product features. This is the case of IRT (Institute for Technological Research), based on public-private partnerships and work with one euro of public money paid to a euro private money. On eight French IRT, there are three ByDesign users and Ubister customers because they found the functionalities they needed, combined in a single product: project management, finance, CRM, useful to sell their patents, purchasing, accounting. These customers were also demanding in income steering problem, with high requirements in terms of reporting, partly related to their public resources.

Our other clients are international growing companies, looking for a very flexible tool that adapts to their rapidly changing organization. The choice of ERP cloud is obvious to those companies, which do not have CIOs or IT people working on business but on management, whose priority is not computing. When their business evolves, they simply have to activate the functions on Business ByDesign and provided management scenarios already tracked. I can cite Orolia, a manufacturer of positionning tools, which makes 50% of its turnover in the United States, or MVG, wave measurement tool manufacturers, with 13 international companies, including a subsidiary in Israel, where Ubister is currently deploying ByDesign.

Does the relative cost of cloud ERP compared to on-premise solutions guides the choice of your customers?

Of course. We see a very strong downward pressure on IT costs. But the first requirement is a system capable of tracking and which does not slow down their growth. Furthermore, if our customers are large companies, they are often supported by investors who need to have confidence in the management system and are reassured by example that embeds ByDesign new types of international accounts.

Many small French companies now want to offer SAP. However, the average number of ByDesing users is around 30 and the minimum number of users was recently increased from 10 to 20. Therefore Ubister now offers the product Business One, that SAP has almost entirely spent in the cloud. Regardless of the product, what we sell is primarily the result.

Hervé Baconnet article appeared in ERP Info