SAP Partner Summit: SaaS and SME Moves Take Center Stage
At the SAP Partner Summit in Las Vegas, Senior VP Pat Hume and VP Kevin Gilroy stepped to the stage and addressed more than 1,000 solutions providers that work within the SAP PartnerEdge partner program. Roughly 52 percent of SAP’s small and midsize enterprise sales currently involve partners. Looking ahead, Hume wants to push that SME figure to 100% partner centric — as SAP balances on-premises and SaaS strategies. Here are the details, plus 12 key takeaways from today’s kick-off keynote.
1. Feeling Optimistic: Kevin Gilroy, hired 45 days ago as National Vice President, North American Channels, opened the session with upbeat perspectives. “As the channel manager for North America, I will be your advocate inside SAP and in the marketplace,” said Gilroy. “I strongly believe the economic upturn is upon us. Our phones are ringing at SAP. Pent-up demand is there…”
2. Ready, Get Set and Grow: That’s the theme for this week’s event and this year’s SAP channel strategy, said Hume. She noted the company added a record number of partners to the SAP PartnerEdge program in 2009. Hume says there’s an opportunity to generate double-digit growth in 2010 and take share.
3. New Leadership: Hume address the recent SAP CEO change right up front, assuring attendees that the co-CEO model is focused on both day-to-day management and innovation, and a commitment to channel partners.
4. What Customers Want: Customers now want four things: Faster time to value, ease of deployment, flexible purchasing options, and software for people everywhere. “One-time charge software is still viable in the market, but we all know SaaS is important,” said Hume, reinforcing the bi-option strategy — both on-premises and SaaS options.
5. Cross-platform Business Intelligence: 2009 was a really great year for Business Intelligence (BI), Hume said. But what about Business Intelligence for Oracle and Microsoft? “I’m going on record we’re fully committed to an agnostic approach to our BI portfolio,” said Hume. “In order for us to have double-digit growth we need to take share. We need to go into their installed base and sell additional products.”
6. Channel Push: Channel partners represent roughly 52 percent of SAP’s sales to small and midsize enterprises. That figure will grow to about 58 percent in 2010, and to 70 percent over the “planning horizon” said Hume. And ultimately, Hume said, the company wants partners to drive 100% of SAP’s SME sales. How will SAP get there? The VAR Guy will be sure to ask Hume later today.
7. SaaS Moves: “I think we have the best SaaS offering in the industry,” Hume asserted, pointing to the company’s recent SaaS-centric business intelligence moves. The VAR Guy will follow up with some questions for Hume later today.
8. SAP Priority #1: Expand market reach through 3rd-party solutions, OEMs, and EcoHub, where nearly 500 solutions now exist. “There’s no better way for you to meet our customers than to be present on the EcoHub,” said Hume.
9. SAP Priority #2: Amplify value delivery, incolding a forthcoming option for non-certified resellers to sell SAP’s support services.
10. SAP Priority #3: Expand services for SAP PartnerEdge through clear, simple, predictable moves. Here again, The VAR Guy will ask SAP for some follow-up information later today.
11. Call to Action for Partners: Expand and scale to sell more and ultimately reach 1 billion users.
12. Get Ready for the Upturn: Gilroy called on partners to get ready for the economic upturn, because he thinks it’s here and it’s going to be a “rocket ship” for those that invest wisely.
The VAR Guy is watching closely to see how SAP’s PartnerEdge model compares to the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized initiative, which Oracle officially launched in December.
In recent weeks, Oracle has been working overtime to get Sun Microsystems partners up to speed on OPN specialized. But ultimately, VARs should watch for growing channel competition in the SME space between Oracle and SAP.