IT support for smaller miners

SAP Australia and New Zealand has joined forces with Extend Technologies and Courtland Business Solutions to help make its software packages more accessible to mining companies.

The companies have launched a subscription-based hosting service that will allow miners to implement and run the Business All-in-One software, without having to hire and train their own IT staff.

The delivery option is a more effective way for small and medium miners with small user-bases and limited software functionality to manage their systems.

Traditionally, companies require an on-site team to install and administer their systems.

Thanks to this agreement, the partner companies will now take on the responsibility for application hosting and management, infrastructure maintenance and software upgrades.

“Our strategy is to deliver our software in any way the customer wants to consume it," SAP director of resources Grant Clinch said.

“That could be any combination of on-premise or on-demand, on the device of their choice.

“With this announcement we are now enabling our midsize mining customers, via our partners, to have their SAP software delivered on-demand. 

“Partners are crucial to our success and we are very keen to grow the ecosystem of partners who can benefit from being able to offer a greater variety of consumption models.”

The Business All-in-One package offers a single, configurable solution which includes both Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) functionalities.

The system can help medium-sized companies manage multiple aspects of their businesses, including finance, human resources, product development, corporate services, customer service and sales and marketing.

According to SAP, the software can also be used for procurement, inventory, logistics and environmental compliance tasks.

It is designed for rapid implementation, so business can obtain a return quickly with a low level of risk.

The packages feature standardised software stacks, which means the total cost of ownership, including licensing, service and associated support costs, is minimised.

According to SAP, the service also allows the companies to scale their systems as their business’ change size.

Mining company executives can view and direct individual projects from head office and expand the software as new projects are established or acquired.

According to Extend Technologies’ Andrew Powell, the agreement will further open up opportunities to create value for our customers.

“The new offering means we can provide our customers with more flexible solutions that can be implemented quickly and at a fixed, predictable cost,” he said.

According to Courtland general manager Peter Lander, customers are looking to exercise greater control over their IT costs, which is subsequently driving demand towards subscription-based hosting.

“This hosted offering is an important addition to the range of options we can deliver service to our customers in the mining industry,” he said.

According to SAP, the hosting through channel partners can help minimise up-front capital investment and reduce the ongoing operating costs associated with managing software solutions.

They also allow miners to focus on their core business, products and services to best meet the demands of their markets.

Furthermore, medium-sized mining companies can focus resources on differentiating themselves from their competitors and making their businesses more transparent and sustainable.