In an interview, SAP Services President Shane Paladin shares why he is proud of what his team has been doing since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, how the global organization is helping customers feel good about every experience they have with SAP, and what customers can expect for a better future.
Q: What has COVID-19 meant for SAP Services?
A: COVID-19 is a human moment, people helping each other in need. From the minute that COVID-19 hit, we’ve been helping customers keep their operations going. Many are medium and small businesses; if they don’t continue projects to achieve their outcomes, it could adversely impact the local economies they serve. We have a moral imperative, almost a fiduciary responsibility, to continue working creatively with customers. Working remotely under great stress, our consultants are going above and beyond when they’ve been asked. At some point, the pandemic will recede. We have to be smart about how we manage this “in between” time so as many businesses as possible come back in the new normal.
What do customers want most from SAP Services?
The number one thing customers want from us is an outcome to execute their business strategy. We are their trusted partner, a consistent force at every stage of their journey with SAP — from when they initially select our software through their entire life cycle. In some cases, customers prefer us to take a primary role, typically when exploring just-released solutions or innovations new to an industry. They may also want us to work in an advisory capacity, either strategically or collaborating with our partners.
How do the recent organizational changes in the global SAP Services team address customer needs?
Our decision to bring all services for our solutions under one umbrella was 100 percent about the customer. Like every large, successful company, we’ve grown organically and by acquisition. Now we’ve simplified the customer experience by centralizing services, including SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, and SAP Customer Experience, in one organization. We’re breaking down silos between the various teams, paving the way to more seamless interactions and better outcomes for our customers.
What’s top of mind during your conversations with Adaire Fox-Martin and why?
Everything we talk about involves the customer journey. The customer is our North Star, and we are committed to make every customer experience something they feel good about, whether it’s the first contact, a renewal, services, or product support. When it’s easier for customers to do business with SAP, they get results faster from our solutions that power their outcomes.
How is SAP Services aligned with the company’s experience management strategy?
In some ways, we are a market maker. Partnering with customers to bring the latest solutions to the market together with our ecosystem is a win-win-win. We provide customers with expert hands-on help in getting that functionality up and running for their growth. Innovation is central to our charter; in fact, one of our teams specifically explores “moonshot” ideas with customers for disruptive differentiation and competitive advantage. These co-innovations often become solutions that reshape markets.
In addition, SAP MaxAttention and SAP ActiveAttention are among our best kept secrets. Even as they support customers during go lives, they are also innovation engines helping customers design the future. Using them, customers can figure out novel ways to more rapidly adopt and consume current solutions and innovations.
What’s your vision when it comes to collaborating with partners across the SAP ecosystem?
Over 95 percent of SAP implementations involve our partners. We’re continuing to amplify their ability so they can run faster and better to deliver solutions more cost-effectively to customers. We also collaborate with partners that are using prepackaged SAP Model Company services and other tools, providing a path to faster business results for customers.
Looking ahead, what can customer expect from SAP Services?
Regardless of business size, every customer should have the opportunity to benefit from our premium services offerings. This is particularly important in a fast-changing world of unpredictable challenges. Whether customers are running on-premise or cloud solutions, we want to make available adoption-focused, outcome-oriented, and ecosystem-friendly services. We’re focused on customers’ short and long-term success.
When you have a relationship with SAP, especially in hardship times like these, customers can continue to depend on us to step up and do more for a better future.
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