Facilitating New Ideas: SAP Emphasizes Commitment to Russian Market by Opening SAP Experience Center Moscow


In just seven months, SAP created the Experience Center Moscow to support customers and partners in accelerating digital transformation and implementing competitive business models. SAP’s presence in the Russian capital reflects its dedication to the 1.2 million specialists working with SAP systems daily.

“Last night we saw what happens when great players become a team,” said Adaire Fox-Martin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Global Customer Operations, referring to both the Football World Cup Finals and the opening of SAP’s new Moscow flagship location.

Comparing the passion of the Russian football team with the hospitality and organization of the host country, Fox-Martin added: “None of this would have been possible without Russia investing in this event – and the same is true of Russia’s investment in technology.”

SAP has similarly invested in customer success in Russia, a country with a strong affinity for technology. Russian programmers are ranked third in the world and the country has a high digital engagement throughout the business and domestic sphere. The introduction of the SAP Experience Center Moscow, both an innovation showfloor and a co-innovation hub, is only the latest addition in SAP’s long-standing business relationship with the country.

With 26 years of engagement and 1,600 customers, SAP has a strong foundation in the Russian technology market. Nearly 1,300 SAP employees are based there with more than 1,000 working in Moscow.

“SAP is very consistent in its engagement in Russia, regardless of economic or political crises,” says Natalia Parmenova, managing director of SAP CIS. “We have a huge customer base here and we want to remain a trusted advisor for them.”

Co-Innovating Customer-Specific Solutions with SAP Cloud Platform

Digitization is a central topic, both in private industry and in the government. Russian customers understand that without digitization, they are unable to move forward in competitive markets, open new businesses or adopt modern business models.

“Our world is rapidly changing,” said Fox-Martin. “In fact, the pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.” She went on to name the three major business imperatives that CEOs around the world have been sharing with her: “Create new business models, improve productivity and achieve those two while attracting and keeping the best talent for the job – and this is exactly what SAP’s new strategy is about.”

Russian customers were early adopters of the SAP Cloud Platform and continue to have strong digital engagement. While building their own unique solutions on this platform, they now have direct resources at the SAP Experience Center, including an exhibition area with inspirational ideas from customers and partners.

“This venue is open to anyone who is a part of our strategy,” says Parmenova. “We facilitate their ideas here with meeting spaces, design-thinking facilities and a showfloor.”

Even the floorplan caters to different types of events, with flexible furniture arrangements that can host simultaneous meetings and events.

SAP Leonardo for Smart Real Estate Management

The SAP Experience Center is located in a smart building with functions that continue to adapt to business, customer and visitor needs as technologically evolves.

“The SAP Experience Center is somewhat of a guinea pig for us to check if our own technology is working for our own needs,” says Alexander Klyuchnikov, who leads the SAP Leonardo Center in Moscow and is part of SAP Labs CIS.

Partnering with ER Telecom and Vocord, SAP outfitted the building with IoT devices to measure temperature and humidity and to track visitor movements.

“We can deduce a lot of useful information from knowing how much time was spent where—for example, how popular individual showcases are—and last but not least, how adequate we are in spending,” says Klyuchnikov.

Facial recognition will speed up registration during events while IoT sensors measuring the temperature in the rooms will adjust in real time. “Our customers and partners that host events here will eventually also be able to leverage that data for operational and marketing purposes,” says Klyuchnikov.

Co-Innovation Hub for Russia and CIS Countries

By opening an innovation space in the center of the Russian capital, SAP can cater to the needs of its customers in the city. Most customers think twice before they take the two-hour-drive to Russia’s own Silicon Valley, Skolkovo, a technology park where startups and corporations come together to work out innovative ideas.

Located near the embankment of the Moscow River, the SAP Experience Center is now one of SAP’s largest innovation showfloors. The center is second only to New York City’s Hudson Yards, an intelligent, multifunctional building open 24/7 to customers, partners and visitors.

Moscow locals are not the only customers who will profit from the SAP Experience Center. “By creating this place, we have come closer to the customers in all of Russia and the CIS countries,” says Parmenova. “We used to take them to Berlin, Walldorf, or Paris when we wanted to engage with them in an innovative space.”

Additionally, younger generations are invited to the SAP Experience Center for coding workshops and lectures on a regular basis.

“University and high school students provide us with additional insights and questions about the role of humans in a world where technology is growing exponentially,” says Parmenova. “There is no shortage of talent in Russia and by bringing students to the SAP Experience Center, we emphasize SAP’s commitment to the Russian market and the country’s future.”