SAP Expands Presence in China

Photo: SAP
Photo: SAP

SAP recently launched its first Partner Adoption Center (PAC) in association with SAP Co-innovation Labs (CoiL). Located within SAP Labs in Shanghai, China, the new facility opened its doors to SAP’s China partners on March 5, 2013 (read more about the launch on SAP PartnerEdge Interactive).

The PAC brings together the knowledge and reach of SAP Ecosystem & Channels and the co-innovation expertise of CoiL to provide partners in China with end-to-end support for growing their business and delivering co-innovated solutions to the Chinese market.

SAP chose Shanghai, already the location for one of the biggest SAP Labs worldwide, for this global pilot based on its long-term strategic growth plan for China. SAP has made a massive investment of $2 billion through 2015 to grow its business in China. Underlying the success of this growth plan is SAP’s strategy to develop its IT ecosystem through three pillars of transformation investments:

  1. To scale partner services capacity and quality
  2. To expand and specialize indirect routes to market
  3. To drive a strong co-innovation agenda for partners to maximize value to their customers

“SAP is committed to win-win relationships through collaborations and co-innovations with our partners. The establishment of PAC is a milestone for SAP and our partners,” says Arics Poon, vice president and general manager of Ecoystem & Channels, SAP China. “Through PAC, we will work with partners to identify new business prospects, and provide partners with best technology practices and GTM supports according to their specific requirements; this will help them expand their customer base and increase awareness. More importantly, customers will experience the maximized value of SAP products and services.”

Next page: Physical proximity aids co-innovation

China Partner Adoption Center (PAC) in association with SAP Co-innovation Labs (CoiL). (Photo: SAP)
China Partner Adoption Center (PAC) in association with SAP Co-innovation Labs (CoiL). (Photo: SAP)

The value proposition of the PAC is centered on its ability to drive co-innovation by providing integrated end-to-end support for partners as well as the monetization of co-innovation. Vincent Ruty, PAC director, explains, “We take partners from evaluation of their innovative idea to helping them find the right solution, to supporting them in building the solution, packaging it, and go-to-market. So, they have one point of entry into SAP that will support them end-to-end, from the very beginning down to monetizing their idea.”

Ruty is quick to point out the key benefit of having a physical facility where SAP can work with its partners: “The great benefit is that we work together. And that is what co-innovation is about.” And it helps that the PAC is located on the campus of SAP Labs in Shanghai – within a short walk of SAP experts for key domain areas. “The benefit of being at the Labs in Shanghai is that through the CoiL team we have a direct link with the other lines of businesses from the Labs, like the SAP HANA teams, the Sybase teams, and the SAP BusinessOne teams,” notes Ruty.

Partners benefit from closer and faster interaction

Ma Juntian, deputy GM of the Financial Information System Department, Taiji Computer Corporation Limited, was one of over 45 partner representatives on hand for the opening of the PAC. “Taiji is delighted to deepen and enrich our co-innovation with SAP. With the mission to become one of China’s best IT service providers, Taiji has been working with SAP to explore the most advanced technologies, such as mobile platforms,” he says, explaining the value of the PAC to his company. “The establishment of PAC allows us to achieve deeper interactions and accelerate the time-to-market process, enhancing our competitive advantage. We look forward to having more innovative solutions from our joint efforts.”

Come in and experience SAP

One way that the new PAC is already serving the SAP partner ecosystem is by hosting “Experience Workshops.” This new initiative, begun in mid-March, aims to get partners to come in to the PAC and experience SAP technology firsthand, for example, by doing some modeling on SAP HANA. The PAC facility is the ideal venue for this sort of meeting, notes Ruty: “Of course, it takes a physical place where you can be together with the partners and guide them through the discovery of our technology.”

Next page: Building up SAP’s presence in China

Opening Ceremony (Photo: SAP)
Opening Ceremony (Photo: SAP)

Customers also have the opportunity to visit the new facility during their projects. For example, SAP partners together with their customers are invited to participate in design thinking workshops, where PAC staff supports them in identifying the ideal solution to meet the customer’s need. Once the partner has developed the solution, the customer is invited back to the PAC briefing center, where the partner will showcase the co-innovated solution for them.

As Ruty notes, the PAC also serves another important role in building strong ties for SAP in China: “Beyond the facility itself, I think the value for customers in China is that we are building partner IP in China and for China. And I think for the customers it is about having more choice and it is about being able to enjoy SAP innovations like SAP HANA through local partner solution offering.”

Looking for a Design Win

The most pressing goal for the success of the new facility is getting Design Wins into the market that show how SAP and its partners innovate together in China. To do this, the PAC will need to take a handful of partners through the process so that they are able to release their solutions to the market. Fortunately co-innovation is something the SAP experts at CoiL have deep experience with and which they will be able to contribute to the success of the facility. Currently, the pipeline for projects at the PAC is rather big, with about 25 projects at various stages of advancement.

The technologies that are receiving the most interest from partners include SAP HANA, analytics solutions on SAP HANA, and mobile. Ruty says, “China is the ideal country for Big Data initiatives, so that is clearly where we have the highest interest. And we are very lucky to be located at the Labs, which has a team of SAP HANA experts that is really proactive in supporting partner co-innovation on SAP HANA.”