SAP, Partners Put Heads Together at Enterprise Services Partner Summit
The next time SAP invites its partner community to a meeting on the future of Enterprise Services, it will need to get a bigger room. “There’s not an open seat in the house!” exclaimed Shai Agassi, SAP’s president, product and technology group, and member of the executive board.
More than 700 partners flocked to San Francisco April 18 and 19 for a first-ever Enterprise Services Partner Summit. “Simply stated, our objective for this event is all about enablement … helping you discover new business opportunities, services, and programs that can ensure your success within our growing partner ecosystem,” said Aviram Branitzky, vice president of SAP’s global ISV Partner Program.
The summit was the first of its kind, providing partners with in-depth information on how to convert SAP’s enterprise services strategy into market opportunities and the myriad ways partners can engage with SAP to grow their business.
The attendees heard from Agassi, Branitzky, and other SAP executives about SAP’s vision and direction regarding the partner ecosystem. “Partners are a vital extension to SAP and our future growth,” Agassi said in his keynote address. “We can’t do this alone – and we don’t want to. For this ecosystem to thrive, we want and need you to be successful.”
“This type of open forum is critical for helping companies leverage enterprise services and take greater advantage of the expertise within SAP’s broad ecosystem,” said the CIO of a consumer products company.
Several panel discussions led by SAP executives, customers, and partners covered a variety of topics, such as how to partner and sell services with SAP, where partners would find new opportunities and markets from SAP customers, and how SAP NetWeaver, enterprise services architecture (ESA), and industry-focused business processes are delivering value to customers. SAP also announced several new programs to better support partners, including a more robust Web portal and an expanding industry solution focus by its business units.
The event also marked the official launch of SAP’s Enterprise Services (ES) community, a collaborative, cross-industry program enabling SAP partners and customers to define together the way software is developed and deployed to solve evolving business requirements.
The ES community brings together thought leaders from diverse industries to share ideas for innovation in enterprise services. These services enable companies to compose business processes that reach across IT systems and company boundaries within ESA, SAP’s blueprint for a business process-driven approach to service-oriented architecture (SOA).
“This community will not succeed because SAP wants it,” said Bill Pataky, vice president, market and business development for SAP’s ES Platform Ecosystem. “It will succeed only with your participation — we are all investing together in our joint future.”
Branitzky provided a preview of the PartnerEdge Software Solution Partner Program, which will be rolled out later this year. A version for channel partners premiered last year. “We’re now taking the best of our current programs to create a next generation program and reduce the moving parts for our software partners,” Branitzky said. The new version offers a consistent framework for engaging SAP, he said. “One partner program for different partner types … an open, global business framework with clear entry points and a clear path for working together … increased level of benefits and clearly defined requirements.”
“Partnering with SAP affords us a deeper understanding of customer needs and the ability to respond to those needs with a compelling, integrated solution,” one SAP partner said. “Partnering with SAP drives real customer value – the single thing that really matters.”