Three by three equals… a heap of success for SAP

By Paul Sipos, Market Development Manager on

Amongst the plethora of content shared at this year’s SAP Field Kick-Off Meeting for the APJ region in Sydney, three key things stood out for me. And in each of them I identified with three key themes that, I think, will resonate with the partner community and our SAP customers.

Interestingly, while I do appreciate the slick, well delivered presentation style of SAP’s executives as much as the next bloke, for me the most compelling key note speaker was Frances Frei, the SVP for Leadership and Strategy at Uber.

Her self-deprecating, down-to-earth performance devoid of fancy slides and flashing lights was a brilliant means of conveying some very simple messages around the importance of developing trust. She spoke about the trust triangle being constructed of three key elements – authenticity, empathy and logic. If one of these is missing or weak, trust is very difficult to establish.

The presentation really hit mark, and was cleverly positioned in the key note address as it aligned beautifully with the SAP strategy plank of Customer Success. Delivering true success for customers can only be founded on a trusting relationship. It’s the key thing that Oxygen strives to achieve in its customer partnerships and it is a recipe for success when as a system integrator you stick to what you know. We are SAP specialists and that gives us authenticity; we always strive to bring logic to the table with well thought out strategies and implementation processes; and we take the time to understand each of our customer’s processes and listen to their problems. We are interested in building long-term customer partnerships and that can only be achieved with empathy.

Of the six themes outlined by SAP’s Head of the APJ region, Scott Russell, three stood out. The first was SAP’s ambition to become the digital leader for business. This is not a new goal, but with SAP Leonardo – SAP’s suite of leading edge technologies – now gaining traction in the market and a big push for greater citizen engagement within the public sector, SAP has set itself some ambitious targets to of become the ‘go-to’ partner for all organisations participating in the digital economy.

Secondly, SAP will go into hyper-drive to market its solutions to the SME sector. SAP will ramp up its demand generation strategies by making more use of digital and social marketing techniques, perhaps shifting the focus from a B2B message to more a B2C message with the aim of encouraging key influencers within SME organisations to leverage the opportunity for growth that an SAP Cloud ERP offers. The drive for the SAP brand to become more ubiquitous in the eye of the consumer is also supported by SAP’s 2018 global marketing ambition of being one of the world’s top 10 most recognised brands.

The third key plank was around SAP’s growing awareness of its social responsibilities. It has developed a purpose-led impact strategy where it hopes to launch social initiatives to improve people’s lives and make the community a better place. Helping equip young people with the digital skills they need to make their way in the modern world will be a focus. Watch this space.

From a solution perspective SAP continues to focus on three key technologies: the aforementioned SAP Leonardo, SAP S/4HANA Cloud – the latest evolution of its Cloud ERP software, and the SAP Cloud Platform – the platform-as-a-service offering that provides unique in-memory databases and business application services. It is here where customers who need leading-edge functionality can extend their SAP solution.

All three of these offerings are closely linked and provide customers with compelling value propositions. During 2018 we will see the ERP market continue to embrace cloud deployment and SAP will be leading the charge.

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If you would like to know more about SAP’s plans and portfolio of business software, please don’t hesitate to contact us.