Disruption spurs innovation. For businesses to thrive in a rapidly changing business environment, organizations must continuously adapt by reexamining what value they can provide customers. The pandemic greatly accelerated this need to transform.
This presents a unique opportunity for SAP and our partner ecosystem to guide customers through their digital transformations. Together, we help customers remain agile by managing their business processes end-to-end in the cloud. As a result of the combined value we deliver to customers, partners and SAP will generate significant cloud growth and recurring revenue.
To help partners maximize this opportunity, SAP launched a new Partner Success organization, which will drive more proactive engagement from our partner experience managers. They will work with partners on their business plans and priorities. We continue to collect and act on partner feedback for our RISE with SAP offering while focusing on improving partner profitability in migrating customers to the cloud.
SAP is also introducing a new commercial offer and enhancing existing offerings to help partners drive customer success in the post-pandemic business landscape. Here are some details.
Enhancing Partner Flexibility to Support Cloud Adoption
At the beginning of the third quarter of 2021, SAP plans to launch SAP PartnerEdge Cloud Choice, flex model, a new revenue share and go-to-market model that provides partners more flexibility to win cloud customers and rewards partners for driving customer adoption. The flex model splits the customer life cycle into two stages, creating opportunities to better compensate partners for delivering effective sales activities and ongoing customer engagement. We are also improving partner cash flow by paying upfront commissions for sales activities and increasing commission rates on renewals. This new model will be available in both the large enterprise and midmarket.
Identifying the Right Partner, Quickly and Easily
By the third quarter of 2021, SAP will roll out a new Partner Finder to provide greater exposure for partners. This will feature a simple, intuitive, and visual search function for customers to identify the right partner for a specific business or industry without needing an in-depth knowledge of SAP technology or the ecosystem.
Customers will enjoy a more seamless experience that includes the possibility for partners to provide direct links to SAP Store and SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions. On the main page, customers can also learn more about available SAP solutions and certified consultants and even ask the partners to be contacted, which will be a new source of demand generation for our partners. At the end of May, partners will receive an invitation to access the new partner profile editor to maintain their profile in the new Partner Finder, which they will need to complete to be visible to customers and prospects.
Highlighting Partner Contributions to Customer Success
We are likewise transforming the annual SAP Pinnacle Award program to align to our strategy and priorities for creating customer value in the cloud. We will publicly recognize those partners that have delivered superior customer value in close collaboration with SAP and provide partners with the means to market this achievement accordingly. Customers that want to work with the best of the best in the ecosystem will be able to immediately recognize the partner for unique and outstanding contributions to customer success.
Partner-Led Customer Success Through SAP BTP and Industry Cloud
SAP aims to foster a best-in-class ecosystem that delivers outstanding cloud implementations to drive customer outcomes and innovation. To achieve this, SAP is investing significantly to train and educate partner consultants and developers with the most relevant and up-to-date learning content so they can develop solutions on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).
With this additional training, SAP partners will be prepared to develop industry cloud offerings, combining partner-built solutions and innovations with integration services, industry content, accelerators, and industry reference architectures. With SAP BTP as its foundation, SAP’s industry cloud helps deliver lower costs for software innovation and faster time to innovation.
As more partners developing on SAP technologies, we can help customers improve their integrated end-to-end business processes and run apps and data on a unified platform.
According to a study from Forrester Consulting commissioned by SAP, partners can expect to close between 50% and 150% more deals in their first year, when compared to a similar solution, using a process model and integration technology within SAP’s industry cloud, in addition to selling bigger deals, closing deals faster, extending contract durations, and improving margins by leveraging SAP BTP.
SAP is also committed to helping ensure that affordable training accompanies the release of new cloud updates and solutions. SAP is investing to help partners increase their SAP-certified consultants. In total, we aim to grow to 150,000 trained and certified SAP consultants within the SAP ecosystem by the end of 2021.
Empowering Partner Sales Success with New Test and Demo Opportunities
Since June 2020, SAP has provided partners with free access to SAP Partner Demo Environment, shared option. This integrated, pre-configured software demonstration environment expedites sales conversations. SAP is steadily expanding live demo offerings – with more than 50 live scenarios to date – to help partners position the value of the Intelligent Enterprise vision, including SAP BTP, RISE with SAP, and industry cloud.
Additionally, the SAP Demo Store site has been expanded and offers partners more than 430 demo scenarios. SAP is also offering partners further price reductions for additional core cloud solutions. Since January 2021, we have offered reduced subscription fees for dedicated test, demo, and development systems of RISE with SAP, SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions, and the the database and data management and HR and people management portfolios. Reduced pricing on other cloud solutions is planned for later this year.
Delivering New SAP for Me Dashboards
SAP for Me is quickly becoming the single point of access for partners to get key actionable insights and data in a digital format. We extended the scope of SAP for Me and added new dashboards and functionalities for SAP PartnerEdge program members. This includes dynamic cards that sales professionals can use to facilitate end-to-end deal execution and that partner contacts can use to have a partner-level view of SAP certifications and partnership insights.
Before the end of the year, partners will have access to additional insights, such as customer project information, a partner solutions dashboard, and cloud product adoption and renewals. This will give partners a complete overview of their customers’ information and relationship with SAP.
I look forward to a gradually improving global demand in the second half of 2021 and am confident that the initiatives and opportunities we are creating for our partners will enhance the experience of both partners and customers and drive success — now and in the future.
- SAP Ecosystem and SAP Business Technology Platform: Delivering the Intelligent Enterprise for Customers, by Juergen Mueller, chief technology officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE
- How Partners Enable Customer Success Through a Unified Technology Platform, by Jagdish Sahasrabudhe, CTO of the Global Partner Organization at SAP
Karl Fahrbach is global partner officer at SAP.