sana commerce

Talk-Commerce-Arno Ham

The evolving expectations of B2B buyers: A digital transformation imperative with Arno Ham

Hello everyone, I’m Brent, your host, and today I’m excited to share with you an insightful conversation I had with Arno Ham, the CTO of Sana Commerce. Arno, with his extensive experience in technology and a deep passion for B2B e-commerce, shared some fascinating insights into the world of B2B commerce, the challenges it faces, and the solutions Sana Commerce provides.

Meet Arno Ham: The Tech Enthusiast

Arno Ham, with over 20 years of experience in technology and a background in computer science, is a man who lives and breathes technology. As the CTO of Sana Commerce, he oversees everything tech-related, from product management and development to professional services and customer service.

But Arno is not just about work. He’s a family man who loves spending time with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys running, cooking, and outdoor activities. He also has a penchant for visiting museums and indulging in good food.

The World of B2B E-commerce

Our conversation took a humorous turn when I asked Arno if a joke should remain free or if someone could charge for it in the future. Arno, with a chuckle, suggested paying for it, emphasizing that nothing comes for free in this world.

On a more serious note, we delved into the world of B2B commerce. I recalled a previous interview with Michelle, the CEO of Asana, and highlighted the growing importance of B2B commerce. Arno then took us through the backbone of Sana Commerce and what they are currently promoting.

The Challenges and Solutions in B2B Commerce

Arno shed light on the challenges of pricing in B2B and the complexity that arises when dealing with a large number of customers and products. He explained that the explosion of data and the need for rapid changes in the business world make it difficult to synchronize pricing information and ensure accurate stock levels.

Arno emphasized the importance of maintaining good relationships with customers and the need for agreements that go beyond just pricing. He also highlighted the changing expectations of younger business owners who want a seamless digital experience in B2B, similar to what they experience in B2C.

Interestingly, Arno mentioned that 40% of B2B transactions still happen offline, but there is a growing demand for digitization. He discussed the challenges faced by older generations in adapting to digital transformation and the need to transfer their knowledge into a digital experience.

Sana Commerce: Bridging the Gap in B2B E-commerce

Arno then introduced us to Sana Commerce’s role in this changing landscape. While Sana provides a great frontend solution, they also integrate with other frontends and ERP systems. Arno emphasized the importance of specialized vendors for specific needs, such as product information management systems. He mentioned that Sana integrates with various systems like CRM, customer data platforms, and product information management systems.

Arno’s Advice for the Future of B2B

As we moved towards the end of our conversation, I asked Arno for advice on digitization and moving forward in the B2B space. Arno suggested starting conversations with B2B buyers and understanding their needs, especially as younger generations prefer digital solutions. He advised forming a multidisciplinary team within the organization to drive digital transformation holistically. Arno also highlighted the importance of aligning incentives for the sales team to embrace the digital shift.

Wrapping Up

Arno concluded by plugging Sana Commerce as a solution for businesses looking to start or improve their B2B e-commerce storefronts. He mentioned that Sana integrates with Microsoft Dynamics and SAP, and invited listeners to check out his podcast, “B2B Waves.”

This conversation with Arno Ham was a deep dive into the world of B2B e-commerce, its challenges, and the solutions that Sana Commerce provides. It was a pleasure to have him on the show, and I hope you found his insights as valuable as I did.

For more podcasts about Commerce

Talk-Commerce Michiel Schipperus

Real-time B2B Commerce with Michiel Schipperus

B2B commerce is complex, and getting real-time data from your ERP is important. We interview Michiel Schipperus (@Schipperus) with Sana Commerce. We learn how Sana ties directly to your SAP or Microsoft Dynamics ERP. He explains how he is helping companies worldwide achieve e-commerce success. Michiel has been working with B2B eCommerce for the last 20 years and leads a company of over 500 fantastic people worldwide, all with unique talents. You can hear Michiel’s passion for his business and employees.

Big News: This episode was recorded before the Gartner Magic Quadrant report came out. Sana Commerce was named as a Niche Player in the latest report. See here


Brent: welcome to this episode of talk commerce. Today. I have Michael Schipperus. He is the CEO of Sana commerce. Miguel, go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell us what you do in your day-to-day life and maybe one of your passions. 

Michael: Yeah, sure. Thanks, Brent, for having me. So my name is Miguel.

Brent: Welcome to this episode of talk commerce today, I have Michael Schipperus. He is the CEO of Sana commerce. Mic Miguel, go ahead and introduce yourself.

Brent: Tell us one of your passions in life and what you do on a day-to-day basis. 

Michael: Yeah, Brent thanks for having me. Yeah, one of my passion. I just recently started to pick up adult tennis. You know what I mean is, you know what it is. Yeah. It’s becoming pretty popular. It’s coming from Spain, but it’s something that I really enjoyed doing recently. Although not yet really good at it, but starting to grow as a passion.

Brent: That’s great. And so your day-to-day role, you’re the CEO of Sana commerce. Tell us a little bit about it. 

Michael: Yeah. So we are in the B2B eCommerce space now for 14, almost 15 years. So I would say we’re pretty early on discovering the need for B2B companies to have something different when it comes to eCommerce.

Michael: We started around 2007 and today we’re over 500 people teams around the world and our. Business passion is to help B2B companies go online. And before that I was running an e-commerce agency and we were helping a lot of retailers sell online, but around 2007, we got more in touch with wholesale distribution, manufacturing companies.

Michael: And at that point we were helping them. We try to help them with the same eCommerce solutions that we helped that we use for retailers. But first 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 projects filled. And we didn’t know why, because we were always successful with with commerce. But then we figured out that B2B.

Michael: Companies actually need something else. That’s what we have been doing for over 14 years now. It has been very exciting to see all these B2B companies really grow and really catch up to all these retailers that are already for many years, doing such a fantastic job on the web. 

Brent: I’ve also been in the eCommerce space since 2009, something like that with Magento, mainly, but now with other platforms.

Brent: And definitely B2B clients have taken a long time to adopt the eCommerce model in their business. Maybe tell us some of the differences that you’ve found between the retail direct to consumer and B2. 

Michael: Yeah. Yeah. And I think the reason why that is, I always felt like these B2C companies really got a lot of pressure from their customers.

Michael: They said, if you don’t have a web store or a good, nice looking web store, then I’ll go somewhere else. And I think in B2B that’s a little bit different, right? A lot of these business customers they really depend on their supplier, so it’s not easy for them to switch. And therefore, I think they have been more.

Michael: Patient, I think that is with B2B companies that are not as fast to adopt eCommerce solutions and yeah, talking about the differences. I, there are a lot, it’s very different. And I think a lot of people are overlooking that or under how do you say that? How you say that they’re 

Brent: looking they’re looking for teachers that aren’t on the platform.

Brent: No, 

Michael: I’m just saying that a lot of People don’t understand how complex B2B is. They look at BBC, they look at B2B and say, Hey, it’s pretty similar because it’s in the end of the day, it’s a transaction. And I think that’s oversimplified because for B2B companies, the transaction is a lot more complex than for B2C companies.

Michael: And and I’ll give you an example. If you or me, we go to Amazon, we buy a book it’s very straightforward. We get, probably get the same price. It’s a product that’s probably available in stock. We pay directly with credit card. It’s, it’s done with BWE that’s different, right?

Michael: Probably as a BWE buyer. I have. Prenegotiated prices. I buy big volumes of products. I get tier discounts. I get volume discounts at the end of the year. Maybe I get, refunds or something based on how many products I order, how much I spent. You can have very complex VAT calculations.

Michael: My order might even trigger a production order where it’s made to order I can have my own customized products that I’m buying. So what I’m trying to say is that the B2B transactions are way more complex than B2C. And I think a lot of people didn’t really understand it.

Michael: Even some B2B companies didn’t understand themselves actually how complex B2B buying and B2B selling was especially if you want to do it. Does that make 

Brent: sense? Yeah. I think the platforms too were slow to adopt. I don’t think Shopify has a viable B2B solution still. And some of the other platforms have taken only in a number of years have they started adopting some of those B2B practices?

Brent: So I think you’re right. There is a gap between what is needed in that market and what is provided in the market. Yeah. Where does your platform fit in from a a size level? Is it geared towards enterprise clients or is it geared for the entire spectrum? Yeah, it’s geared 

Michael: for the entire spectrum.

Michael: So we serve really small companies, but also, multi billion dollar companies. Yeah, we we serve both around the world actually quite well. And that’s, I think because of our focus, we have always been focused on the B2B. Business case. And I think that makes all the difference that typically, if you look at all the bigger eCommerce platforms they grew up, serving retailers, B2C business cases.

Michael: And later on, they said, oh, we see the opportunity with B2B. They added B2B features, if you start building your product with a certain use case in mind, it’s not as easy to pivot, I think, especially cause, given the the, my point earlier that B2B and BDC are so different because the transactions are different, but also the relationships are very different.

Michael: I think the relationship that you may have with Amazon is very different. What a B2B buyer will have with their supplier that he might buy from. On a weekly biweekly basis. And they might even know the names of the people that work there in vice versa. And they have built up a relationship over many years, and throughout these years they have made all sorts of agreements.

Michael: And like I said on, tailor made pro products at such. So there’s in B2B so much more complexity and such a different relationship. That it’s I think also looking at eCommerce, it’s hard for a B2C platform to pivot and be very good at B2B as well. 

Brent: Tell us a little bit more about Sana commerce.

Brent: Is it’s a SaaS platform clients are connecting via APIs. Yeah, 

Michael: absolutely. The key difference With Sana commerce compared to almost all other e-commerce platforms in the world is that we, with our APIs, we go directly to the ERP system to the database of the ERP system. So instead of going through an interface where you will.

Michael: Basically synchronize some information from the ERP system to the eCommerce solution, vice versa. We go directly into the ERP system. That’s what we call ERP integration. Although I think a lot of companies that do these interfaces will call it European integration, but And in this way, we have two major benefits.

Michael: One is that we can get all the information from the E R P system and not just the information that goes through the interface. And second is we always know that the information is accurate, becomes because it’s coming straight to from the source. 

Brent: It’s an approach as a if you’re writing your own software and you have the ability to do that from the code level that, that gives you the advantage as a merchant to have that more, I guess we’ll call it a more close integration.

Brent: And you also don’t depend on a third party being up in case somebody went down. I can remember a time where we had a very high volume client and they had an interface that we were gonna go to and they, and I said, our, we’re. Tens and tens of thousands of orders. And they said, no, we’re our system

Brent: won’t go down. And sure enough, their system went down because of the interfa the middleware. And just from a technical standpoint to, to let the listeners know that this not a you’re, what you’re saying is it’s a direct integration. Let’s say one road leads directly to the other where the typical, the new typical setup for a SaaS integration is a hub and spoke where you’re going to a central place.

Brent: And then it’s connecting again to the final destination. So you have a sort of a pass through and you’re now also dependent on that pass through. Yeah. So maybe tell us a little bit more about that and how that helps maybe in speed and reliability. 

Michael: yeah. Yeah. Good point. And to give you an example, if you’re in, you’re using a Sana commerce web store and you’re putting products in your basket. Then in real time, the E R P system is calculating the basket, not the eCommerce solution. So all the business rules, the discount rules, whether or not the product is available. The V a T rules are all being directly calculated in the ERP system.

Michael: And the eCommerce platform is just showing the output of that. so that’s very different. So it’s not. It’s where normally an eCommerce system would do all the calculation process, the order, and then send it to the ERP system where it’s being processed. Once again with us, if you with the Sana web store, if you put, process order directly, it’s being processed in the ERP system.

Michael: So you kinda have no issues afterwards where you’re saying, Hey, this you put in the order, but we. Accepted for some reason or they’re, rounding errors, those kind of things that you typically have when you connect in ERP system to eCommerce solution. And for B2C, that’s not that relevant for B2B that’s super relevant because you’ve got all these, complexity around this order.

Michael: And that’s the nice thing about E R P systems is that they’re very good at handling this complexity when it comes to, pricing or availability of product. So yes, it’s also has to do with what you mentioned, reliability. You want your. Online customer or as a B2B company, you want your online customer to know that they can rely on the information that they see on the web store.

Michael: And with Sana Commerce, there’s no chance that the, that information is not accurate because it’s coming straight from the source. 

Brent: I know there has been traditional struggles from the B2B side when adopting eCommerce besides the age of a lot of B2B owners. yeah. What are some, the other struggles for adoption of B2B?

Brent: In, in the, in trying to get online and sell stuff. 

Michael: I think the biggest struggle is that companies that finally say, okay, we want to invest in, in online that they they do. Directly get the concept of E R P integration. So they can set up an e-commerce solution connected to the ERP system, but not have the reliability that their customers are expecting from them, because then normally their customers would call and they would have somebody on the phone.

Michael: This person is looking at the E R P system and has all the information on. Customer in front of them. So can speak about it and say, Hey, what did you order last week? Last month, last year, two years ago. Oh, you ordered this. Oh, I need to have a spare part for that. And the person on the phone is, has all that direct access has all the information can really support this online customer in whatever he or she wants to buy.

Michael: Now. So if you go online, this customer wants to have all the information available as well in the same way, but if you don’t have that direct integration, you only have a subset of the information. So you might only have the orders that are, that you place through the web store. You will not have all the orders from five years ago that are only near your ERP system.

Michael: If you don’t have that. Close integration as you call it. So what happens? As online customer, you go to the web store, you don’t see that previous order data for instance, or are the information that you would like to have and what do you do? You pick up the phone again and you say, oh, don’t wanna work with web store anymore because it doesn’t have that information.

Michael: It’s not as complete as the person I get on the phone in terms of the information that that I get provided with. And it’s not as accurate or reliable as it should be. And that’s then you see what happens. Then they pick up the phone again, then they will not adopt the web store.

Michael: And then, we speak to the company says, yeah, e-commerce doesn’t work for us. Our customers don’t like it and it’s not true. I think there are very few people these days that prefer to pick up the phone over doing self-service on the internet. However, If you want to do self-service on the internet, you want to know that the, that you can trust the information that is there and that you have all the information that you need.

Michael: Otherwise it will not work. So I think that’s the biggest struggle for companies. If they. , they don’t start with the right setup in place that they will, their customers will not fully embrace it. And they will conclude that eCommerce is not working for them. And we heard that time and time again.

Michael: So I think that’s really a big deal. And I understand because a lot of companies, of course, if you, if I would be also this vision manufacturing company and I want. Buy an eCommerce solution, probably I’ll go online. I’ll Google eCommerce solutions. I’ll see Magento and Shopify and all the big players and say, oh, probably these solutions are great.

Michael: So I need to have one of those. But I think they have to look one, two more steps deeper and see, what’s the nature of my business. What is my core infrastructure that I have in place typically for these companies, it’s the ERP system. And then start thinking from there and say, okay, how do I take that information that I have there and take it to the web.

Brent: Yeah, no, that’s the great points. And I think a lot of I’ll pick on Shopify a little bit, a lot of, and they have such a huge marketing budget that CEOs of companies typically say, oh, they’re selling online. Let’s just set up a Shopify store, not realizing a that there’s gonna be a ton of things that they need.

Brent: And we could go into a feature list that B2B has that, that a typical D2C doesn’t have, and then B that they’re going to run into all kinds of fees and performance issues and all the things that aren’t typical in your. D2C store and you’re direct to consumer store where are more typical in a B2B store?

Brent: I’ll name one of ’em. I know that we talked about reordering or the volume of an order in your typical B2B shopping cart. You could have a thousand line items in it. Where in your typical D2C you’re gonna. 10 at the most or something like that your shopping card has to be robust to handle that maybe speak to some of those constraints that people encounter when trying to adopt a, B or D2C store in a B2B environment.

Michael: Yeah I like the example of reorder, right? Like I said, you might have placed an order a couple weeks or months, or even years ago. And you want to reorder that then, and you want to do that through your online web store. You need to be able to access that previous order through the web store.

Michael: And what I love about the European integration, it’s also that, okay, you placed the order or you want to place it reorder. You can also look it up. Call with a sales rep, ask them to adjust the order. And in real time, you can see on your screen that the order is being chased because changed because it goes directly to the ERP system to check that information and you can on the fly approve the order for instance.

Michael: So you have this because you’re all looking at the same information with this closed ERP integration. You can really collaborate in such a way that is pretty unique, I would say. And there, there are many more examples where if you have that philosophy and that approach of close ERP integration, as you call it earlier that for B2B customers, that it, that are so many more benefits and they will also lead to higher adoption.

Michael: So it’s not just, I think, in the features, it’s really also from my perspective in the fundamental. Set up of your business and your eCommerce environment. 

Brent: Yeah. And I think you’ve, I think that E R P integration too is important. If you think about some, a lot of B2B customers or a lot of B2B merchants might have a million SKUs and most retail eCommerce platforms are not gonna be able to handle that volume or even manage that volume.

Brent: So I guess it sounds like what you’re saying is through that really close knit, E R P integration, it’s much easier to manage all those SKUs when you’re using your platform. Yeah. 

Michael: And of course they’re also, downsides, right? Your information in your ERP. Needs to be clean, right?

Michael: If you make a big mess of your ERP system and then you open it up to your customers, then they can see the mess. That’s not how it should be. So you need to have your ERP system and your data and your ERP system in order. But once you have that, it’s fantastic that you can just make it available to your online customer.

Michael: And it’s all almost like they’re working in your ERP system, but then in a much more user inter friendly user interface. And then also of course only seeing the inform. That is relevant and and accessible to them. 

Brent: Maybe talk a little bit about configurability. I know that some SaaS platforms have the downside of only being configurable to what.

Brent: The other thousands of people are doing on it. How do you manage configurability within your platform? 

Michael: Yeah. Good question. And it’s a hot topic indeed. But what we typically do is we just like we leverage the E R P system for all the. Complexities around pricing and availability of product.

Michael: And a lot of other things, we also leverage the functionality of CPQ tooling, for instance. So we integrate with that tooling to do the complexity of, to handle the complexity of config product configuration if it becomes really complex and then we take the output of that and we say, okay, now you can process that order in your shopping basket, but we just provide the visual interface, whereas all the.

Michael: Complexity is being done by third party tools. 

Brent: And what about language and tax? I know that certainly it’s harder for Europeans sometimes to come to the US and vice versa US go to because the way tax is done here is completely different. In a wholesale market in the US, nobody would ever pay tax in.

Brent: I know in Europe with that, you would typical. Charge on that tax and get a credit. Yeah. Maybe talk to some of those complexities around tax 

Michael: and yeah, for us we love complexity. And why is that? Because typically this complexity for business has already been solved. And then we just leverage what they have used to create to manage that complexity.

Michael: So for instance, with taxes Typically, I think a lot of our customers in the us use Avalara for calculating taxes. And then we just use, the output of that to show it in a web store. Either it’s in the ERP system or it’s, third party integrations like Avalara. So in a sense, Sana Commerce is a pretty straightforward solution because we don’t create a lot of extra complexity.

Michael: Leverage the complexity that customers already have in place. So I love to speak with prospects that have a very complex business maybe because they work with best before dates and all the complexity that comes with that. We don’t care. We, they already have systems in place that manage that complexity.

Michael: And we’ll just take the output of those, processes. And we’ll just show them in the web show, show those in the web store. So we tend to keep it simple because we don’t have to recreate any of that complexity that the customer already has. 

Brent: and just a little bit about complexity and workflows.

Brent: You mentioned a couple times that you’re taking a lot of this from the E R P and ERP may have specific workflows on say, who’s gonna approve something. Are you adopting all those workflows into the eCommerce system as well for if a buyer has to get an approval from another member of their team or even teams working together and then pooling.

Brent: Orders maybe speak to that. Yeah. Good 

Michael: example. That’s indeed functionality that we have within Sana. So within Sana, you can set up these business rules who can order what, and who has, which authorities. So this functionality that we provide, however, if Business has already set that up in their ERP system.

Michael: We can also leverage that we, so we got a bit of both the same with product enrichment. If a customer manages that from the ERP system, or they have a PIM system in place where they manages, their product catalog, then they can use that. That’s fine. If they don’t, we also offer functionality in Sana commerce to manage product enrichment.

Michael: So we can go basically go both. 

Brent: We touched on the idea of the amount of SKU. Is there a sort of upper limit that you would wanna attempt to do, or is it open to SKU count and open to categories and things like that. Yeah, 

Michael: no, there’s not directly a limit.

Michael: I I don’t know if there will be at some point in it there’s always a limit. But we typically do stick to limit. Of course, if there. More SKUs. We always need to do a bit more work, bit more testing some tweaking and tuning on the caching side. And of course we the company need, need to be able with their ERP system to manage certain volumes.

Michael: Because if we process an order, like I said, it gets directly processed into the, your ERP system typically. It’s also good to stress test the ERP system on the amount of transactions that it can process within a certain time window. Typically, in our experience in B2B, you don’t have these in our experience, at least the type of customers that we have these crazy what is it?

Michael: What is black Friday events you have less of that in B2B. So typically these spikes are a little bit less there compared to B2C. 

Brent: I said earlier that maybe the larger comp the more performance issues would be around SKU count and even SKU count in the cart rather.

Brent: Getting slammed with thousands of orders all at once. Yeah, no 

Michael: yeah. It’s a good point. Yeah, no. And in terms of SKUs I, there, yeah, like I said, there’s always, if there are large SKUs with lots of attributes and complex search, of course you need to do extra work. But we I think we have yet to encounter our limitations there.

Brent: It’s just talking about attributes and limitations. One problem that I’ve seen in the magenta world is the ability to create as many attributes as you want, and to create as many VAR attributes or text based attributes as you want. And in the I think in the SKU management world, There should be some restrictions on that.

Brent: Like the advantage of some SaaS platforms is that you don’t give the users so many choices and because of that, it helps them to manage their store better. Yeah. How do you deal with somebody that wants to set up hundreds of attributes and may decide? I want to have 200 attributes that are all text based.

Brent: Yeah. 

Michael: Yet for every. New customer. We provide what we call handholding services. So we will guide them through the process of setting up their web store. So this consultancy involved. And once we see that are, not making. When they are planning to make decisions that will be unfavorable for the performance of the website, of course we’ll advise and we’ll talk to them and make sure that they will not create too many attributes that will, limit their search performance for instance, or there navigation performance.

Michael: Typically that’s how we do it. So it’s more in person guidance and consultancy around. 

Brent: Some of the buzz words out on the market today are around headless and API first. How are you positioned in that? 

Michael: Yeah, I think just like any other platform we say, okay, we’re headless and that’s true.

Michael: We can function with, without our Sana Head, so to speak that being said, it’s not something that among our client base is, the highest ranking topic on their agenda, so to speak. So I know there’s a lot of talk about it in the industry. Sometimes we discuss it with customers or prospects, but it’s not something that we are fully focused on because it’s, not the main topic for us at the moment.

Brent: And do you find, this is just a general comment that a lot. B2B clients just want to try to keep it somewhat simple. So having more of a monolith deployment of the application is sometimes easier than building it out into multiple microservices on PWA front end or something like that. 

Michael: Yeah I can definitely relate to what you said that, more I, that’s also what we recognize more and more B2B companies want to keep it simple.

Michael: I think in general, more companies, when it comes to software and it solutions say, Hey, we had this experience in the past where we had a lot of complexity, a lot of customizations, and now we want to have it much more simple. And that’s definitely something you can relate to. Like I said, we have the advantage that we don’t have to rebuild the complexity that they already have in the ERP system or potentially in other systems that we can leverage that what they already have.

Michael: And with that, we can keep things much more simple for them and much smaller applications. Yeah, I can definitely relate to that. Everybody wants some level of flexibility, of course. But I think in the flexibility that was A lot of people are speaking about with microservices, et cetera.

Michael: I think it’s for some companies, it’s great if they have large it teams that are managing all this complexity, but I see it more and more, at least among our customers and prospect that they say, okay, we prefer to keep it simple. We get so many other applications in a landscape to manage. If we can do something more simple in eCommerce that they’re really happy with that.

Michael: Does that make sense? Do you see that as well? Yeah, and 

Brent: I don’t wanna say it’s simple. It’s just it, maybe it’s it. It’s making the journey easier for both it and thus the customer, because you’re not adding a bunch of subsystems that your main systems is dependent in all these subsystems.

Brent: And I know we did. In a sense, a Valera is a is a microservice, but it’s also a microservice that’s maintained by somebody else. So I think some of those complexities happen when your team has to maintain all. Sub microservices and a lot of the API only solutions for eCommerce nowadays require you to build out microservices to get any additional functionality.

Michael: And that comes with a lot of complex or a lot of flexibility, but it also comes at a price, I think. And you need really large teams, I would say to manage that. 

Brent: Tell us a little bit about your team, about the Senate team.

Brent: You’re where you’re based in Netherlands. Tell us a little bit about the company. 

Michael: Yeah, sure. So we, like I said, we started 14 years ago and we have certainly back then we had this niche approach. We said we’re only going to work for B2B companies because there we saw a real need and we built our product only for companies that either run on Microsoft dynamics, E R P.

Michael: or an SAP ERP system. So with that, we are, very focused and like I said, a niche player, but then we said, okay, If we’re going to take this focus, we need to be a global player, right? Because otherwise our addressable market is too small in, in Netherlands or even in Europe. So our headquarters is here in the Netherlands.

Michael: We have another headquarters in New York. We have another office in Columbia and Meine we have offices in Germany in the UK in Dubai and. So we try to serve this customer that is B2B and running our Microsoft dynamics or SAP around the world. And then we got our development centers in Sri Lanka in Ukraine and also team in Meladinine in Columbia.

Michael: So we’re pretty spread out. We’re like I said, with around. 500 people. We want to be close to our customers and our partners. We work a lot with the E R P vendors because they of course, speak with the customers and prospects also about eCommerce and then bring us in. Yeah, so that’s basically how we’re currently organized.

Brent: And what about your roadmap for other E R P platforms like NetSuite. 

Michael: Currently it’s not on our roadmap. We’re discussing it. We’re thinking about if it’s not directly on our roadmap, that’s because we want to be the very best at what we do. So we constantly challenge ourself.

Michael: Is this the right time to also look at NetSuite? And we say we can be again a little bit better with our product for Microsoft dynamics and SAP. And we got now about 1500 customers. There are we estimate around a hundred thousand customers companies around the world that have SAP or Microsoft dynamics and are in B2B.

Michael: So we still there’s, so much growth potential there that we said, okay, we first want to be better at that before we go into NetSuite 

Brent: and from a it side, what sort of technical knowledge does a a merchant need to have to run your system. 

Michael: Not much, I would say it’s a visual design, so you can create your web store as you want.

Michael: Of course you need to involve some of the it people in the company to, get the APIs up and running. But like I said, we have these handholding services. So we really, we have done this already more than a thousand times, so we can really guide customers in what they have to do.

Michael: And there are small things that they need to do. But in general, it’s not a lot of technical knowledge, I would say. 

Brent: And I SAP has a front end solution. Do you compete a little bit with the SAP’s front end 

Michael: solution? Yeah. In a sense we do it goes a little bit back to what I said earlier that solution, I believe, has been built in a very different setup to serve, I think in the beginning, mostly retail customers.

Michael: So it’s a very different solution, more standalone. Sounds strange. Because, but it has been an acquisition from SAP, so more standalone and it can be connected to the SAP system. Whereas when we build our solution for SAP, We went, a lot more into the ERP system itself into the SAP system itself.

Michael: And that allowed us to build this really deep integration. So yes, we compete, but typically if we speak to a prospect and we show how we work and what our philosophy and our approach is, they see that it’s a very different approach in a very different way to to to basically solve their eCommerce needs.

Brent: Great. Yeah. Michael, thank you for being here today. As we close out the episode I always give everybody a chance to do a shameless plug about anything you’d like, what would you like to promote or plug today? 

Michael: Yeah, I think, I just briefly mentioned that we got a team in Ukraine, so 130 of our 500 plus people are in Ukraine.

Michael: And as we all know, they’re in a pretty tough spot at the moment. Everybody listening, please support any way you can either financially or through, social media, let yourself be heard. I think it means a lot. And I think together, this as a world, basically, I would say we, we need to do anything we can to support people because it’s it’s really tough.

Michael: What’s going on there. Thanks for the opportunity. 

Brent: Yeah. And I’ll just comment on that as well. That the the world needs to stand up and talk about this and the more misinformation that comes out of Russia, the more misinformation that’s put out there. And I think the more we all stand up against that is gonna be better.

Brent: And I think thank you for that. 

Michael: Yeah, I agree. I think one of the risk is that it faded away. And I think we need to continuously even if it takes for month, we need to continue to focus on it and make sure that we don’t, that it doesn’t, that we don’t forget about it.

Michael: If 

Brent: yeah. And I think, especially from a technical standpoint it touches so many communities Magento and BigCommerce and Sana yeah, definitely. Thank you for that thank you for again for being here, Michael is the CEO of Sana commerce, a B2B tightly E R P knit b2B commerce platform. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you, Brent.