As the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software, SAP services over 293 million cloud users globally and our customers generate 87% of total global commerce. To drive innovation at that scale, SAP cannot do it alone – we have adopted a partner-led approach to incorporate innovation, end to end, into our customers’ transformation journey.

Innovation empowers resilient businesses. Today, SAP partner ecosystem is the innovation engine for SAP and our customers, with over 25,000 partners globally delivering around 90 percent of SAP customer implementations. Not only do SAP partners extend SAP’s reach deep into local markets as solution resellers and implementation partners but more than ever, they are also bringing valuable domain expertise, consultancy, industry capabilities and best practices to help address each customer’s specific needs.

The diverse and deep skillsets availed through SAP partner ecosystem means that SAP and our partners can provide a tailored roadmap with qualified resources to support every customer’s business transformation – accelerating innovation and future-proofing their businesses.

Full house attendance at conference
SAP NOW SEA in July – a gathering of SAP customers and partners to transform businesses for tomorrow, today.

The Evolution of SAP Partner Ecosystem

In July, at the SAP NOW Southeast Asia (SEA) event in Singapore, I had the pleasure of joining a panel discussion with senior executives from our partner organisations – B Capital, Singtel, and Google Cloud, together with SAP’s president and managing director for SEA, Verena Siow. We delved into the evolution of SAP partner ecosystem, highlighted how each of these partners funnel innovation, and explained the critical role they play in driving customer success today.

In Asia Pacific Japan (APJ), there are more than 4,600 partners in SAP partner ecosystem. Our collaborations in the region with B Capital, Singtel, and Google Cloud represent the evolving nature of our relationships with both our customers and partners, going beyond traditional buyer-seller and implementor roles, to enabling joint value-creation and democratising access to innovation for all.

Powering Startups in Asia Pacific (APAC)

At the panel session, we highlighted the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with B Capital, a multi-stage global investment firm that partners with extraordinary entrepreneurs to shape the future through technology. The firm was co-founded by Eduardo Saverin and Raj Ganguly to help startups in APAC scale through technological innovation. Under the MoU, B Capital portfolio companies will gain access to SAP’s industry expertise and global business networks to accelerate innovation, including areas such as AI and automation.

Through closer collaboration with SAP, B Capital portfolio companies will be able to accelerate their solution progression – from developing applications to identifying opportunities and showcasing those applications on SAP Store, the company’s global online marketplace with more than 2,000 partner solutions. SAP will also be able to tap into the pool of startup talents from B Capital and introduce SAP solutions, such as GROW with SAP – a fit-to-standard, packaged offering that helps growth-focused organisations adopt Cloud ERP confidently – to its portfolio companies.

“By leveraging the bridge with SAP, it’s an important element of where we see growth for our portfolio companies to learn from SAP’s best practices and the network provided. This collaboration reaffirms our commitment to bridging the gap between today’s industry leaders and tomorrow’s emerging companies, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Arijit Sengupta, General Partner, B Capital.

Panel discussion with 6 people
Speaking alongside some of our partners, B Capital, Google Cloud and Singtel at our panel session during SAP NOW SEA.

Enabling Real-Time Insights for Enterprises

Additionally, Singapore’s largest telco, Singtel, is the first telco to collaborate with SAP to offer an end-to-end 5G Intelligent Edge Aggregator (IEA) solution, built on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). SAP BTP is an innovation platform optimised for SAP applications in the cloud that brings together application development and automation, data and analytics, integration, and AI capabilities into one unified environment. The IEA solution will enable enterprise customers to quickly access and integrate SAP software with their back-end processes at the cloud server edge, adding greater cloud functionality and computing capabilities to their network architecture, and gain real-time intelligence and insights to help them make critical business decisions.

“We’re pleased to be developing this IEA solution using Singtel Paragon, supported by our 5G network and multi-access edge compute (MEC). The IEA utilises SAP BTP, which helps to bring together data analytics, AI, application development and automation. This solution will help address the increasingly complex needs of enterprises, such as applications for computer vision and workplace safety. This forms part of our ongoing strategy to help enterprises exploit the capabilities of 5G and MEC to drive innovation and business growth.”
Dennis Wong, Vice President of Enterprise 5G and Platforms, Singtel.

Building the Future of Open Data and AI

Also discussed at the panel, was SAP’s expanded partnership with Google Cloud that introduced a comprehensive open data offering uniting SAP with Google Cloud’s data and analytics technology. Customers can develop an end-to-end data cloud using SAP Datasphere in conjunction with Google Cloud’s data cloud to unlock rich insights through a single view into their holistic data estate, unleashing the power of business data and advancing enterprise AI development.

“The partnership with SAP is really bringing together the most significant data technology partners to support our customers. Customers can unlock the value of data with the expanded data estate accessible to them to draw amazingly rich insights. More than that, generative AI advisors can now use that data to customise and train their own models for their specific needs.”
Martin Chee, Managing Director, APAC Specialist Sales, Google Cloud.

More recently, SAP and Google Cloud announced the next phase of our partnership focused on launching new generative AI-powered industry solutions and new capabilities to help customers improve sustainability performance.

Democratising B2B Payments for APAC Businesses

Furthering the theme of partner innovation, at the SAP NOW keynote on mainstage, we also unwrapped Visa’s collaboration with SAP to embed B2B payments through SAP BTP, into the SAP ecosystem. The collaboration injects more automation into B2B payments and enhances efficiency in purchasing processes for SAP customers of all sizes.

“Almost 99 per cent of the world’s largest companies use SAP solutions to run their daily operations, and now these enterprises can use their Visa cards, a payment method they trust, directly on SAP BTP, an enterprise solution they rely on. Enterprises will no longer need to grapple with the various payment methods accepted by their suppliers, as Visa’s payment solutions that are integrated into SAP BTP will route commercial card payments to all suppliers, whether they accept card payments or not. This will speed up payments for both buyers and sellers, helping to further digitise B2B payment flows across Asia Pacific’s supply chains.”
Chavi Jafa, Head of Commercial and Money Movement Solutions, Visa Asia Pacific.

Man and woman presenting on stage.
Paul Marriott, SAP APJ President, and Chavi Jafa, Visa Asia Pacific Head of Commercial and Money Movement Solutions, on mainstage at SAP NOW SEA.

Embracing a New Narrative

The velocity and scale of innovation that we’re driving together with SAP partners today are unprecedented. As SAP doubles down on helping customers accelerate digital transformation and time to value on their cloud adoption, we are also scaling our investments in SAP partner ecosystem to:

SAP’s strategy is becoming increasingly partner led and we are leaning into our partners to drive new innovations and initiatives. In APJ, there are 70,000 SAP-certified professionals working with customers on their business transformation. In the first half of 2023 alone, SAP and our partners have delivered more than 1,000 project go-lives across the region.

As SAP evolves our approach to deliver ongoing value throughout the customer lifecycle, partners with expertise in cloud implementations, business processes, and technologies, will play an increasingly bigger role in customer success.

To find out how you can benefit from SAP’s vibrant partner ecosystem: