SAP.info: What can customers expect from SAP Services in 2014?
Anand Eswaran: First, customers can expect SAP Services to help them lead the innovation charge in an environment of constantly changing business models. Second, we’ll speak the language of their industry. That’s how we get to the heart of the business problems they’re trying to solve and the competitive advantage they’re trying to gain. The third expectation we’ll meet is focusing on business outcomes that realize value for the customer. The fourth is bringing total cost of ownership and total capital investment front and center for effective innovation within their budget.
All of these innovations allow us to rapidly change business models for customers and create solutions that were unthinkable a few years ago. For example, we are using cloud computing to create meaningful impact for the customer and that changes the game completely. Cloud is a delivery model but it allows us to achieve standardization while focusing only on customization where it makes a competitive difference for the customer. Another recent example is SAP Learning Hub, a cloud-based offering that provides anywhere, anytime access to everything customers and partners need to know about SAP solutions.
SAP HANA can power the Internet of things
We’re hearing a lot about the Internet of Things. Does SAP Services have something to offer in this area?
Although currently nascent, the internet of things will rapidly mature and impact software applications. SAP HANA has the ability to be the platform that can power the internet of things. As this matures, SAP Services has the deep understanding of industries as well as technology that will enable us to create applications that plug into machine-to-machine conversations, ultimately bringing value to businesses and their consumers.
What are the most pressing challenges that SAP customers face?
Customers need to not only keep abreast of the innovations that are changing business and consumption models daily, but also make sure they are the disruptive force. Every customer I talk with wants to know how to transform into a digital company and stay relevant. Customers also need to flip the spending model so they’re focusing 70 percent of resources on innovation and 30 percent on operations. Right now it’s the opposite. Constant cost pressure is another issue. Gone are the days when you could sell features and functionality for its own sake. Customers need products that will solve a business problem, change the customer experience, and help them gain market share.
Can you provide some examples of how SAP Services has made a difference for customers?
SAP Services completes thousands of projects across all of SAP’s 25 industries from our long-time strongholds like oil and gas to new ones such as sports and entertainment. For example, we are helping the National Football League change the fan experience. The Fantasy League application that allows individual fans to navigate and analyze game and team data based on their interests is powered by SAP HANA, and was developed by SAP Services.
From the NFL to intellectual property and best practices
SAP has a well-established ecosystem that includes service providers. Where does SAP Services fit into your strategy for customers?
Looking at the total ecosystem of skills needed to support our customers, our goal is to comprise up to 20 percent of those services. That leaves 80 percent for our global partners. Given the breadth and depth of SAP Services when it comes to intellectual property and best practices, we want to use that to train up our ecosystem so collectively we have the right innovative coverage to meet all of our customers’ needs.
Blurred lines between enterprises and consumers
Where do you see SAP Services in 2020?
We will move SAP Services to a service. That means shifting from projects based on people to a service based on business outcome value. Every element of the portfolio will be a specific use case that solves a specific business problem for the customer. Price is based on value created. We’ve already begun this journey with offerings like SAP Rapid Deployment solutions. The other big change will occur as the line between enterprises and consumers blur. We will create meaningful applications that provide every day value to companies and consumers.