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AngelNews goes with SAP

2nd Mar 2011
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AngelNews, the information service about companies “that go from nowhere to somewhere very quickly” has turned to SAP’s Business ByDesign Cloud application to help cope with its own rapid growth rate.

Founded five years ago “as a hobby” by CEO Modewenna Rees-Mogg, AngelNews quickly turned into a success story by catering for what she calls “Dragon's Den audience”. The company has been using the CRM part of Business ByDesign since the autumn and is considering implementing the finance and project-management modules.

“We needed to invest in technology to help us manage our client accounts and better manage opportunities and marketing,” said Rees-Mogg. “Until this point we were using spreadsheets, which were becoming difficult to manage accurately and were resulting in costly errors.”

Brand awareness and word of mouth recommendations played a part in the choice, but AngelNews was set on installing a Cloud-based system. “We chose SAP because we wanted something that was on demand so that we didn’t have high IT costs. The Starter Pack was perfect for us because although we only wanted to start with CRM, we do have the intention and option of using more of the SAP Business ByDesign suite moving forward,” said Rees-Mogg.

“I bought Business ByDesign because I didn't have a system in place. I want a system that I never have to change again as my company grows. I'm not a techie person [and] it's not an area I want to go into, so I wanted a system that I could just grow into and for someone else to do all the work for me. I don't want to have some sort of transfer of implementation in three years' time just because I've suddenly got 50 staff. I've deployed it much earlier than some [other companies], but I can see how this will absolutely help me get to those 50, 100, 200 people - it would be much, much harder without it.

“One thing that really sold it to me was when I heard that SAP has all these really cool big customers that are big brand names. I want to be a really big company one day so why wouldn't I want to use the sort of system that people like that do? Why wouldn't I try and go with the people who are servicing those enormous corporates if I possibly can? It's like being given the chance to drive a Jaguar rather than what I do drive, which is a Ford Fiesta," she added.

While she looked at other systems, Rees-Mogg admitted her due diligence consisted of “talking to my mates”.
Despite its relatively late arrival into the Cloud market and its reputation as an enterprise giant, SAP is beginning to show that it can have an impact in the low end market. While the SAP brand can influence companies like AngelNews and professional services firm De Villiers Walton, another recent Business ByDesign customer, but it also carries some negative connotations.

Recycling terminal firm Renew now uses the CRM, inventory and accounting elements of Business ByDesign. “I can say the SAP decision was not a popular decision on my board,” admitted CEO Kaveh Memari.

“It was one of those few things that I hope in time I'm going to be proved right on. There are much cheaper ways to do things than use SAP - you can get all your other systems elsewhere. Having said that, the cost of trying to understand what they all mean is significant in time and also who does what and when and how does this affect the overall picture – you really need to understand it [and] that has cost implications as well."


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