How do you take a massive on-premises software company and refocus it on cloud computing? Perhaps that question is best directed toward Sven Denecken, VP of strategy and head of co-innovation for SAP’s Cloud Solutions.
Denecken points to market research suggesting 75 percent of new enterprise IT spending will involve cloud or hybrid solutions by 2016. "SaaS and PaaS partners can and will build atop that," Denecken predicted in a conversation with Talkin' Cloud.
Denecken reports directly to Lars Dalgaard, CEO of SuccessFactors, the SaaS-centric HR and talent management company that SAP acquired for $3.4 billion in December 2011. Denecken, working closely with Dalgaard, sees clear opportunities for channel partners to focus on customers, money, suppliers, business relationshi
Denecken and his SAP cloud peers see three areas where cloud computing helps partners and customers (agility, efficiency, innovation). Plus, SAP sees four opportunities (systems of competitive advantage, connectivity, systems of record and systems of engagement) to help address those cloud opportunities.
The following SAP graphic offers a simplified look at that market vision:
(SAP's Greg Chase offers more context for the graphic here.)
Denecken is quick to concede that most traditional IT budgets focus on maintenance. But he believes cloud computing will allow partners and customers to increasingly unlock new innovations. "In the cloud, complexity is on the shoulders of vendors and not customers," said Denecken. "One thing about the cloud: If it doesn't appeal to end users it won't be used."
From Maintenance Mode to Innovation Mode
He notes that 40 percent of today's workforce was born after 1980, which means those new-generation employees are demanding anywhere, anytime application access from mobile devices. The combination of cloud computing and mobile computing is a given, he added.
"So how can the channel benefit from that?," asks Denecken, before answering his own question. "I see a morphing of partners -- with big systems integrators investing in SDKs [software development kits]" for cloud integration services.
With those opportunities ahead, Denecken is telling partners to focus on such SAP solutions as SuccessFactors, Business ByDesign, Hana, and mobile solutions from Sybase. And don't forget SAP's pending buyout of Ariba. That's a big portfolio of options. Will channel partners climb onboard?