As 2018 comes to a close and enterprises both large and small look ahead at the opportunity that 2019 holds, no one has more to look forward to than the SAP partner ecosystem.

According to a forthcoming study from IDC,* over the next five years, SAP partners are projected to generate nearly $200 billion in net new** revenues.

IDC SAP Partner Opportunity Study
SAP’s partner economy projected to double by 2024

Where is this opportunity coming from? Survey says… the cloud. In the coming years, cloud-based activities will account for more than 60 percent of net new revenues for SAP partners, and the ecosystem is taking note. Since November 2017, SAP has added more than 250 new cloud partners to its ecosystem, with 10 percent of SMB cloud indirect business coming from net new partners.

According to Paul Edwards, director, Software Channels and Ecosystems, IDC, “The market opportunity in the cloud has been growing for years, and these numbers show that it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. As both customer demand and profits relative to cloud-based solutions continue to rise, there has never been a better – or more urgent – time for partner ecosystems to embrace the cloud.”

As the opportunity in the cloud continues to grow, so will the number of partners we see innovating with cloud technology from SAP. In fact, partners focused on creating and selling their own software in the cloud are projected to grow by 24 percent from 2019 – 2024 – the fastest in the ecosystem. And with the single framework of SAP Cloud Platform for building and extending solutions, doing so is easier than ever.

While this rapid growth presents limitless opportunities for SAP partners, navigating the transition to cloud-based solutions can be understandably daunting. This is why SAP plans to guide partners through every step of the journey with a steady stream of new resources available through the SAP PartnerEdge program. Earlier this year, SAP added new assets such as the customer engagement executive (CEE) role, focused on helping cloud partners maximize their customer relationships, updated trainings for cloud-specific solutions, and targeted marketing assets to help communicate the opportunity of the cloud to customers.

This year, we have a feeling that New Years’ resolutions among SAP partners will be cloud-based, and we can’t wait to work with them on building relationships with, and innovations for our customers on their way to becoming intelligent enterprises.

Karl Fahrbach is senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Global Partner Organization at SAP.

*IDC SAP Partner Opportunity Study, 2019 (forthcoming)
**Net new revenues are the sum of the difference in revenues between 2018 and each subsequent year