SAP Services & Support Leadership: Customer Outcomes Are the No. 1 Priority

Leaders from SAP Digital Business Services (SAP DBS) share how world-class services and support innovations help customers become intelligent enterprises in the experience economy.

In an interview, Michael Kleinemeier, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, SAP Digital Business Services, and Dr. Tom Janoshalmi, senior vice president and head of Strategic Growth for SAP Digital Business Services, share how SAP DBS has made customer outcomes the top priority, helping companies transition to the cloud with world-class services and support innovations.

SAP DBS Executives Michael Kleinemeier, Tom Janoshalmi
Left: Michael Kleinemeier, member of the Executive Board, SAP SE, SAP Digital Business Services; Right: Dr. Tom Janoshalmi, senior vice president and head of strategic growth, SAP Digital Business Services.

Q: What are the top three challenges customers have about navigating the experience economy?

Kleinemeier: Number one, digitalization is influencing classic business models, regardless of company size or industry. Second is the extreme speed of change. Third is long-term planning — unpredictability is the new normal against a backdrop of geopolitical instability, including tariffs, sanctions, and events like Brexit.

Janoshalmi: It’s never been easier and cheaper for customers to switch products and services. Regardless of industry, our customers have to respond to their end-users’ expectations by connecting demands with new product development and supply chains, marketing campaigns, sales strategies, and customer service.

How is SAP Services & Support evolving to help customers address these challenges?

Kleinemeier: We have an obligation and mandate to help SAP customers become intelligent enterprises in the experience economy. In a cloud-based world, customers demand business outcomes. We’re collaborating even more closely with partners to adopt the tools and align to our standards so we can all deliver what’s needed for 100 percent customer success. This includes providing clear advice through our advisory services, tools like our distributed delivery factories for 24/7 support, and pre-configured services to accelerate projects and help reduce risk, such as SAP Model Company.

Janoshalmi: We’re constantly reskilling and upskilling our talent so they can provide expertise on using the latest innovations to our customers. As we capture, respond to, and anticipate customer sentiments ─ during ongoing projects or one-off support interactions ─ our goal is customers for life. We’ll achieve that by providing the best customer experience.

Can you share examples of how SAP DBS has helped customers transition to SAP S/4HANA?

Kleinemeier: Our SAP S/4HANA Movement program answers every customer’s biggest questions: Why should I move, what should I move, and how should I move? SAP Integrated Delivery Framework clearly defines roles and responsibilities among SAP, partners, and customers. Everyone shares the same success measure of an on-time, on-budget move for business outcomes.

Janoshalmi: Customer response to SAP S/4HANA Adoption Starter Engagement is very positive because we create a business case and justification for each company’s digital future. SAP Transformation Navigator provides a readiness check that encompasses the customer’s entire landscape. In a recent go-live with a partner, we successfully transformed the digital core of a well-known fashion company with locations in 36 countries. We also demonstrated for a customer in New Zealand that we can implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud within a few days, not weeks or months.

What’s the significance of the recently announced SAP Integrated Delivery Framework?

Kleinemeier: This strengthens SAP and partner alignment on customer success in moving to SAP S/4HANA, especially in the design and safeguarding phases. Already, it’s provided transparency and consistency in pilot projects, with over 25 partners achieving go-lives in record time.

Janoshalmi: One customer said that having clear accountability and safeguarding services helped them meet on-time, on-budget objectives with no escalations. Just as important, partners appreciate SAP standing alongside them with shared success measurements.

Looking ahead to 2020, what innovations can customers and partners expect from SAP DBS?

Kleinemeier: We will help make the Intelligent Enterprise a reality at every customer’s business.

We’re averaging SAP S/4HANA public cloud transformations in less than a month. Harmonization and standardization are paramount for customers going to the cloud. We’ll focus on even more solution integration, along with innovations like machine learning, blockchain, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, automating more processes with the latest technologies. Watch for enhancements to SAP Model Company for greater project speed. Customer success remains our first priority.

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