SAP.info: SAP is off to a fast start in 2013 with the release of SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. What has been the reaction of the ecosystem, and what impact does this have on SAP’s partners?
Eric Duffaut: Partners are very excited and they understand the importance of the announcement for two reasons. The first is that many of them have partnered with SAP for a long time. Their core business is grounded in the SAP Business Suite, reselling and developing solutions or delivering services that complement the Suite. By definition, this release is very important to them. The second reason is that SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA will not only transform our customers’ businesses, it is transforming our partnerships by unleashing unprecedented business opportunities.These opportunities include co-innovation and re-selling, high-value services, better differentiation, and more profitable and sustainable business.
This is an opportunity for partners and SAP to jointly reinvent the business of our customers, using SAP HANA to develop use cases and applications for business outcomes that weren’t possible before. If you are an SAP partner, you now have in your hands the most competitive solution on the market. You have a huge competitive advantage.
SAP.info: With innovations like in-memory computing, mobile, cloud, and social, SAP seems to be on an incredible journey. How has the role of partners evolved as part of that transformation?
With these innovations, SAP has expanded its addressable market beyond business application software to become a platform company. There’s only one way to be successful, and that’s to ensure you drive proliferation of applications built on top of your platform. We are becoming the iTunes for business, with a groundswell of partners developing on top of the SAP platforms. This means revenue and differentiation for partners and greater value for our joint customers.
SAP.info: What do you see as your team’s major accomplishments since you assumed leadership of SAP’s ecosystem?
We have helped transform SAP, making partners an accelerated engine of profitable growth. The numbers prove we’ve moved the needle. Our goal is to have 40% of our total SAP software revenue coming from partners by 2015. At the end of 2012 we are now at 34%. We have almost doubled our revenue from partners and more than tripled our OEM business. In fact, every day our partners help us acquire 33 net new customers – that’s the average. We have significantly expanded our partner capacity and capability. At the end of 2012, we had more than 365,000 trained partner consultants, up from 250,000 one year ago. Partners represent the fastest growing channel at SAP. They are more than ever essential to the success of SAP and our customers.
SAP.info: What steps has SAP taken to make it easier to partner with you?
It’s not only easier, but more profitable for partners to join the ecosystem. All of our solutions are now ready for channel partners. This gives partners more opportunities, allowing them to expand their addressable market and bring more value than ever to our joint customers. For example, if you’re an SAP Business One partner, you can process orders through the SAP Store making order to cash much simpler. We’ve launched two platform programs – mobile and NetWeaver cloud – giving partners affordable access to all of our development tools and enablement to build applications. We’ve also integrated with our SuccessFactors partners, meaning that now partners can sell on-premise and cloud solutions under the same program.
SAP.info: Can you quantify the results of SAP’s co-innovation efforts with the ecosystem?
Our co-innovation encompasses large SIs to new types of smaller specialized partners. Already over 150 partners are developing mobile applications that are available in the SAP Store. We’ve had amazing co-innovation around the cloud with Amazon and many other partners. The same goes for co-innovation with major hardware vendors like IBM, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, and HP that are delivering dedicated appliances for SAP HANA. Let me share with you one beautiful example of co-innovation that improves and even helps save people’s lives. Molecular Health has embedded SAP HANA into its solution to translate terabytes of clinical, molecular and drug data into real-time, effective personalized treatment choices for each patient. This means patients get the right treatment faster to fight this terrible disease. It’s a proud feeling to know that with our partners co-innovating on top of the SAP platform, we are making a big difference in people’s lives.
Next page: What can partners expect from SAP in 2013?
SAP.info: What can partners expect from SAP in 2013?
SAP will continue becoming simpler and easier to partner with, opening up new market opportunities to partners every day. SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and SAP Business One, version for SAP HANA, will give partners the ability to transform our joint customers’ business models. With solution maturity, we’re increasing co-innovation partnerships including industry specialization. We’re opening more markets to partners, especially reselling partners. We have already transferred more than 5,000 accounts globally to be primarily addressed by our ever expanding channel. We’ve simplified our go-to-market strategy with a new General Business segment where partners will be a preferred route to market. Cloud is here to stay, and all our cloud solutions are now channel-ready under a unified partner program, making it very simple for partners to adopt and bring to customers. Business networks are another huge opportunity, and Ariba is the perfect place to extend the SAP footprint outside company boundaries. For partners this is a great upsell opportunity into existing accounts and a value proposition for net new accounts. Better and easier enablement and knowledge transfer is also a priority for the benefit of all partners – SIs, VARs, ISVs.
The last two years have been very successful for partners and SAP. We’re on the same path with even more expansion and acceleration. I’m convinced this year will be yet another successful milestone on our way to achieving our 2015 goals.