Market perceptions about partnering with SAP can be founded on outdated legacy perceptions, unverified myths, and competitive FUD. These misperceptions couldn’t be further from the truth, some of which many may find surprising. I recently had the pleasure of talking with Eric Duffaut, President of SAP Global Ecosystem and Channels at SAP. Click here for the complete interview. This is how he summarized the opportunity that partners have with SAP:
“We used to categorize partners in boxes—whether they sold hardware or software to small or large customers. Today these lines are blurring. Partners are under pressure from the ‘perfect storm’ of transformational innovations—big data, mobile, social, and cloud—that have customers embracing different business models.”
Amongst the big news for partners so far in 2013 is SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. The way SAP sees it, SAP HANA is transforming business models for customers. Partners that join with SAP can transform their own businesses and that of their customers. One example is the SAP Startup Focus Program launched to support startups to develop new applications on SAP HANA. Already the SAP HANA Marketplace, deployed in Amazon Web Services, is filled with solutions that include real-time analytics, a wide range of big-data scenarios and predictive analytics. And by the way, the Amazon partnership is widely viewed as evidence that SAP is rethinking how it’s always done business.
There’s no question that partners are core to SAP’s ability to expand its addressable market. Partners can not only consult and implement, but also sell SAP solutions. Every day, partners help SAP acquire 33 net new customers. Again, here’s Eric Duffaut’s take on the situation:
“Many of our partners are thinking of or already building IP or applications on top of platforms to differentiate themselves. They’re not just selling and implementing software, but they’re bringing an area of expertise where they have built assets. Now that SAP is a platform company, partners can pick us as their platform of choice. They can pursue new business models, monetizing in a complementary way with SAP.”
Admittedly, SAP has ambitious goals of generating 40% of total SAP software revenue from partners by 2015. But that figure was 34% at the end of 2012. Most important, SAP has never been a more partner-friendly place. All SAP solutions are ready for channel partners. The sappartneredge.com site is dedicated to partners, consolidating all the resources partners need to build, sell, and implement all SAP solutions. The company’s mobile and NetWeaver cloud platforms provide affordable access to the development tools and enablement partners need to easily build SAP applications. Acquisitions like Sybase, SuccessFactors and Ariba are generating significant buzz in the marketplace about the new SAP. More and more partners are delightfully surprised at the rewards SAP offers them and their customers.