Supercharging Partnerships in the New Normal

It’s safe to say the world has tilted on its axis in 2020. Businesses are scrambling to adapt to fast-moving, pandemic-driven imperatives that are completely upending the way we engage with our teams, our customers, and our families. It is forcing us to chart new paths and companies that have already undertaken digital transformation are decidedly ahead of the game, according to new research from IDC.

Introduced last month during our What’s Next webinar, the study, “Partner Opportunity in a Changing World,” explores how the SAP partner ecosystem is responding to the new normal, which seems to change by the day. Among the key takeaways: revenue expanding to $260 billion by 2024 — nearly doubling this year’s total — and job growth increasing from 1 million to 1.6 million workers by 2024.

The study also predicted that partner revenue growth from SAP cloud solutions will outpace revenue from on-premise deployments. It is a pivotal opportunity for partners. For customers, it’s all about bottom-line value in a remarkable time of need.

Digital transformation is obviously accelerating at an exponential rate in response to work-from-home initiatives. Companies naturally seek the flexibility of cloud-based solutions. Those that have already started their digital transformation journeys are better prepared for resilience. Others find themselves in catch-up mode.

Partners must be especially adaptable and responsive as paradigms continue to shift, delivering unique guidance and capabilities for the new normal that resonate with customers. “What’s Next: Business Insights for SAP Partners 2020” sheds new light on how to capitalize on this opportunity. During the event, John Scola, global vice president of GTM Cloud Channels at SAP, and Steve White, program vice president of Channels and Alliances at IDC, explained how there is more opportunity than ever in the SAP partner ecosystem.

Continuous Change, Remarkable Opportunity

IDC’s analysis demonstrates how SAP specifically supports partnership expansion in the Intelligent Enterprise, bolstered by a strong business technology platform. As we look to the future, however that may be defined and redefined, SAP will continue to set up every partner for success and resilience. This commitment manifests in many ways, including by doing whatever it takes to help partners navigate today’s unprecedented challenges.

Cases in Point

Sodales Solutions enhanced its integrated employee health and safety compliance tool, built on SAP Cloud Platform, to enable COVID-19 traceability and preventative safety measures across organizational levels — from incidents, environmental factors, locations, and new policy implementations. Sodales customer Woodbridge used this tool to adjust the operations of its manufacturing facilities to produce personal protective equipment. Thanks to Sodales, Woodbridge was able to effectively ensure all employees received regularly updated health and safety policies.

SAP partners also supported Elitesland Software System Co. to implement the SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution. Elitesland immediately put the innovation to work, both for itself and a local building materials company in Shanghai looking to upgrade operations. With real-time insights from SAP and Elitesland, the customer was able to make deliveries faster and more efficiently, a capability that subsequently led to a contract creating mobile hospitals for new COVID-19 patients in Shanghai earlier this year.

Honed and Ready

Customer success is a moving target. As we start to turn our attention to 2021 with guarded optimism, it will be imperative for SAP partners to invest in continuous customer engagement in the cloud. By helping them identify and chart their course to success, building the innovation they seek and accelerating time to value, partners can consistently reinforce their value and stay relevant.

SAP has created new offerings to give partners a timely edge. This includes the LACE (Land, Adopt, Consume, Expand) operating model as a go-to-market strategy; shared partner demos as a free, integrated environment for customers; and learning journey support and learning content on SAP Learning Hub. Through these initiatives, SAP enables partners with the tools they need to deliver the knowledge and quality customers expect.

Keys to success for SAP partners in this new normal will be building and maintaining trust, staying informed, and fostering professional development for unsurpassed excellence. It’s the foundation for thriving, not just surviving. By helping customers to truly become intelligent enterprises, all SAP partners are ultimately primed to prevail.

To learn more about what’s next for the SAP partner ecosystem, watch the replay of our recent event at the What’s Next area of sap.com and visit the SAP PartnerEdge portal.


Karl Fahrbach is chief partner officer at SAP.