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Hitachi Consulting is moving its SAP practice toward a vertical operation to leverage SAP AG’s go to market strategy launched in January, the company revealed.

Under a redesigned go to market strategy in the SME, SAP is relying on its partners to both extend its reach into the segmented market place and make its All-in-One and Business One applications relevant to customers in micro-vertical industries, where business process functionality will be the products’ differentiator, SAP executives and partners said.

Hitachi is lining up its staff and operations on the same lines to leverage the relationship and a bit of logic, said John Clark, Managing Vice President of the firm’s SAP practice.

“The tighter we’re aligned to verticals, the better stories we have to tell,” Clark said. “As we service clients, you get a lot of domain expertise. SAP dominates the food and beverage vertical, so we have good stories to tell there at large and small companies. Let’s take those stories and add the Hitachi micro-vertical knowledge.”

“It’s becoming clear in the industry that you need to align by industry,” he added, “and I wouldn’t be surprised if that becomes the way here (officially).”

Pointer SAP Halves Time-to-Sale for Business One Partners. Click here to read more.

The SAP unit has gone so far as to put in place a gentleman’s agreement with the firm’s Oracle practice to stay out of verticals where the other has a clear advantage, Clark said.

Working with, and not against, the oracle team at Hitachi, may not be what vendors want to hear, he added, but it makes sense for a house with two practices.

“It ends the idea of internal conflict when it comes to software selection time,” he said. “Where do we have strengths and where do the vendors have strengths. That’s where we’re going to concentrate.”