Speed & Agility – Business & Beyond

It seems nearly everything these days comes down to two things: speed and agility. The ability to evoke a quick and agile response to change – from rising floodwaters, angry citizens, tainted poultry, receiving medical care to market dynamics – is crucial to life and business alike.

In my new role as president of Global Services at SAP, I recognize the direct correlation between speed and agility and our mission to maximize customer success. Our ability to do this will define our performance in 2011. This is why our global field operations team, as well as the entire Global Services organization is measured against improving speed and quality execution, covering our customers’ lifecycle in every region, in every country.

The Services team – at SAP or any of our partners – needs to be more present and accountable to our customers on every level around the world. With this accountability comes the opportunity to deliver innovative technology combined with the professional services to realize the promised value – a lifecycle we vow to strengthen and tighten for all of our clients worldwide.

At first glance, you might think this is meddling, or merely upselling our customers. To me, this is speed and agility at its best – and a welcome promise according to a 2010 survey of 300+ CIOs. In this survey, CIOs told us exactly what they need: innovation to improve business performance, productivity and profitability. I know that SAP Services can deliver, because we share the same desire internally, evidenced by our building stronger alignment between our development, sales and services organizations with the customers’ success the end goal.

As part of SAP’s organizational alignment, our partner ecosystem will be crucial to the success of our customers. Our partners are vital to meeting customer demands, extending beyond what SAP can achieve on our own. Their expertise and presence in all corners of the world assure customers that their IT projects can be swiftly delivered with the expected quality. I think they will benefit from SAP’s continued success, gaining new business opportunities stemming from our innovative products.

Talking with customers and the relationships I’ve established with them is the highlight of my work – it always has been. Just as rewarding are the conversations I have with employees who share the same passion for delivering value to customers and making SAP better. These conversations are my priority in the coming weeks to get their perspectives – customers, partners and employees alike – on what we can be doing better. Like how we can lower TCO faster for our customers. Like how we can speed our ability to help them experience greater value from their SAP systems. Like how we can be continue to be the agile market market-maker for SAP solutions.

Having seen the evolution of SAP over the past year, I know we’re heading in the right direction with offerings such as SAP Rapid Deployment solutions and SAP predefined services. These are just the beginning as we enter a new year defined by speed and agility.

José Duarte is president of Global Services within Global Field Operations (GFO) at SAP. In this role, José drives the Global Services line of business, comprised of SAP Consulting, SAP Education, SAP Custom Development and SAP Maintenance Go-to-Market.