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Collaboration Leads to Success

Why SAP’s “Partners First” Strategy Means Success for Customers

by Rodolpho Cardenuto | SAPinsider, Volume 17, Issue 4

October 10, 2016

SAP’s partners are critical to SAP customer success. Partners are the primary interface to the majority of SAP customers and they provide the support, expertise, and complementary technology that many organizations need to be successful. That is why SAP launched its “Partner First” strategy — a strategy dedicated to supporting and working with SAP’s partner ecosystem. Discover how SAP puts its partners first to provide customers with choice, access to talent, best practices, and all the ingredients necessary for success.

SAP’s 14,000 partners worldwide are absolutely critical to SAP customer success. They are the primary interface to 80% of SAP customers, providing implementation expertise, business knowledge, local support, and complementary technology.

In recognition of this key role, we launched our “Partners First” strategy more than a year and a half ago — a partner-focused strategy developed from a set of operating principles designed to ensure that SAP maintains a transparent, predictable, and consistent selling structure with our partners, protecting both partners and customers. We believe that the closer aligned we are with our partners, the more successful our customers will be.

Our Partners First strategy made sense when we launched it, and it makes even more sense now — over the past six quarters, SAP partners generated more than 85% of all of SAP’s net-new customers, the vast majority of which are small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), making SAP’s general business area the clear net-new customer growth engine for SAP. Our goal is to help SAP partners address this market with fine-tuned solutions for SMEs, partner initiatives with predictable outcomes and returns, and opportunities for specialization.

A key component of this plan is to work with our partners to help SAP customers make the transition to the cloud, and to become digital enterprises that can run live. In August 2016, SAP announced the availability of SAP PartnerEdge Cloud Choice, an innovative model that enables SAP partners to accelerate their cloud-based business, drive cloud adoption across customer landscapes, and deliver digital solutions that enable businesses to run live. This predictable, clear, and simple model allows SAP partners to harness the potential of the fast-growing SME market and guide SAP customers on the path to a successful digital transformation.

The role and ultimate goal of the SAP partner ecosystem is to provide customers with choice, access to talent, best practices, and all the ingredients necessary for success in the marketplace.

In the past, SMEs were not able to invest in the same sophisticated technology leveraged by larger enterprises due to limited capital, time, and resources. Cloud technology, however, is leveling the playing field by providing immediate access to and consumption of the technology needed to compete in this digital revolution. SAP PartnerEdge Cloud Choice empowers partners to help SAP customers reap the rewards offered by the cloud, including the ability to tap into the digital ecosystems of business and technology partners that hold the key to unlocking the full value of the digital economy.

SAP’s commitment to working with partners is strategic — it is not opportunistic. The role and ultimate goal of the SAP partner ecosystem is to provide customers with choice, access to talent, best practices, and all the ingredients necessary for success in the marketplace. By putting Partners First in everything we do, we in turn ensure the success of our customers.  

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Rodolpho Cardenuto
Rodolpho Cardenuto

President
Global Partner Operations
SAP



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