The number of members increased to 35, including major companies such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, T-Systems, and Wincor-Nixdorf. The group also added a vice chairman to the board, Antonio Palacin of IBM.
In recent months, special interest groups were launched on licensed partnerships, technical questions for Software Solution Partners, and SAP marketing. These groups identify common concerns of the partners, which IA4SP discusses as part of its regular exchange with SAP. At present, simplification of the certification process, increased protection of investments, and improved coordination of SAP partnership programs are the top items on the agenda.
“Particularly for companies with multiple partner statuses in various countries, it is important to maintain a single point of contact with SAP,” said Baljer. “In addition, continuous coordination of the global SAP partnership strategy with the demands of local markets is essential.” Partner companies also want to be informed sooner about new products and services offered by SAP, so that they can work together to give customers optimal advice and assistance. The goal is to codify the most important regulations for cooperation in a “Partnership Charter” and thus further improve communication with SAP.
For the coming year, IA4SP plans to start additional special interest groups, including groups for Coverage of Partners, global partner strategy versus local implementation, coordinated Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Target Settings. Furthermore, the office in the Partnerport in Walldorf will be enlarged, and a conference series with expert lectures from the SAP ecosystem will be launched.
IA4SP seeks the broadest possible membership, regardless of partner category and status. Any legally independent company can become a full member, provided it has at least one official SAP partner status. The second category of membership, “Associate,” is intended for companies that do not have partner status, but whose business model is tied to SAP.