Earlier this month, SAP held its first SAP SuccessFactors North American Partner Summit in South San Francisco.
The event at the SAP SuccessFactors headquarters started with opening remarks from David Osborne, senior vice president of Global Channels & Ecosystem at SAP.
Osborne set the tone by saying “we want you to ask questions and leave here today with new insight.” He ensured the partner audience understood the SAP SuccessFactors strategy surrounding the “Power of We.” Additionally, he explained the SAP SuccessFactors strategy around building, acquiring, partnering, and extending.
The agenda was broken into four main segments: Direction for 2018, Sales Related Programs, Services Related Programs and Product Direction. Partners were exposed to the “Big Bets” that SAP SuccessFactors is investing in for an even stronger partner future:
- Expanded marketing and sales execution
- Execution excellence
- Pipeline creation
- Customer references
- Creation of a partner delivery community
SAP SuccessFactors has also re-energized the partner ecosystem through partner-led references and partners’ expertise with SAP’s cloud secure strategy, which provides more enablement and engagement to create customers for life. The Product Management team also provided a great overview of SAP’s approach to managing the impending GDPR, which puts SAP SuccessFactors in a strong position to help customers adapt to the critical legislation. Moreover, the team demonstrated the value of partnerships through SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions, the Upgrade2Success program, partner applications, and selective business process outsourcing (BPO) and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationships.
Attendees were reminded what SAP SuccessFactors is currently doing to strengthen the partner community through SAP Recognized Expertise and how customers are being encouraged to look for this designation when doing their partner selection.
Here’s a quick video from Bruce Hillier, vice president of Partner Delivery, and Tak Kusano, vice president of Global Strategic Alliances, sharing their thoughts on the partner summit:
Inside Look with Mike Antongiovanni, Solution Center Manager – North America
Q: Can you explain the value of SAP SuccessFactors partners and the key takeaway you want partners to leave with?
A: The only way we win is if the partners win. To build the business we know we need everyone involved. We want to help our partners significantly contribute to SAP SuccessFactors growth by leveraging our ecosystem to extend our reach, innovate, differentiate, and provide a world-class experience to ensure customers for life. If this event helps us do that, then I am very happy.
What should partners be looking for in 2018?
This year, partners should be looking for a few things to help improve their business and deliver unprecedented value for our customers. We are innovating existing solutions and extending with new capabilities, developing unique and targeted capabilities that complement our existing solutions, and teaming with partners to facilitate and enable the ecosystem.
Are there plans for more partner summit events in the future?
Yes, based on the very positive audience comments we intend to replicate this format next year. We believe this forum allows partner to gather with product and sales leaders to hear several perspectives on what’s coming and how we will win together. But probably even more important is the feedback we received from the partners both in the public forum and from many of the independent conversations that occurred throughout the day. There is also an SAP Global Partner Summit planned in conjunction with SAPPHIRE NOW, as well as opportunities to connect with partners at SuccessConnect events in Berlin and Las Vegas later this year.
What was your key takeaway from the partner summit?
Every time I am with our partners I am reminded of the quality of the individuals and the organizations they represent. It is humbling to see the customer success that is achieved only through the collaboration with our partners. All our planning and investment is great, but it is good to remember our innovations and continued investments are added incrementally to our already mature and effective organization and partner ecosystem.
Power of We
Just like old human resources (HR) technologies, processes can become dated. Companies, customers, partners, and employees must think differently. Integration is the key in helping everyone succeed in a world where new technologies are changing the way we operate. Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming into the workplace, bots are making decisions for us and soon drones will be delivering coffee. The time is now to partner with best-in-class vendors in order to deliver a best-in-class experience. As the old saying goes, “two is better than one.”
SAP SuccessFactors has proven it is ready to partner and deliver world-class solutions in the HCM market. The more opportunities to integrate, educate, and deliver the better.
Access slides from the summit here.
Tyrone Webb Jr. is an integrated communications expert for SAP SuccessFactors