SAP has been a company in transition for the past three years, transforming itself from an on-premise solutions provider to Cloud-focused company.
SAP vice president and general manager, partner operations A/NZ, Greg Miller, discussed the changes both the company and its channel has faced recently, explaining there had been a lot of investment happening from a partner perspective.
He recently presented at a partner conference in Melbourne as part of an APAC six-week tour.
He noted that many of the partners attending are not only changing the way they go to market, but re-evaluating how they engage with the vendor.
Miller explained that some of the attendees at the Melbourne event did not bring the traditional SAP lead or client managing director, but instead, brought staff members for training.
Miller said partners are increasingly interested in how they can align with SAP or how they can find their niche.
“We don’t want to see a handful of mini SAP's out there, partners need to find where their capability aligns with SAP’s capabilities,” Miller said.
“Whether that be by industry solution to best find their place in the market. That’s where I am seeing the best success in the partner community.”
Miller said some of the firms more traditional partners are asking how they are able to access a SaaS play.
“They want to know how they can re-tool their service delivery organisation to deliver six week implementation,” he said. “These things were not possible before.”
Miller explained he has two teams - one for recruiting and another for enablement.
“Their focus is helping those partners transition from the traditional view of SAP to today’s view of SAP,” he said.
SAP has had to make that shift itself.
Over the last three years the German software giant has seen the writing on the wall for on-premise deployment.
Despite the fact that there will always be a market for on-premise, it is constantly shrinking.
SaaS deployments are filling the gap and carving out new markets at the same time.
Unsurprisingly, Miller said the drive for growth in the SaaS part of the business is coming directly from the market.
“If I look at the growth in the SaaS section of the business, last year it grew 71 per cent and this year We are looking to grow 100 per cent,” he said.
“That’s definitely what we are getting from customers. They have a two pronged initiative in the customer landscape, part of it is cost savings, and that’s all well and good but really it’s the customers saying, give me the cost savings so that I can apply it to either revenue generation or driving innovation into my employees via SaaS for HR.
“In relative terms, we are seeing that Cloud revenue number grow dramatically."