"The enterprise that does not innovate inevitably ages and declines," observed the late business management guru Peter Drucker in 1985, noting that "in a period of rapid change … the decline will be fast." Major developments at that time included the launch of Microsoft Windows 1.0 and the registry of the internet’s first .com domain.
Drucker’s words from nearly three decades ago are still true today, but the current speed at which technology advances has increased exponentially. To succeed in this environment, companies must be able to keep pace with this rapid rate of innovation. In the past, implementing new technologies could be an onerous and time-consuming undertaking, particularly for small and midsize companies that lacked the resources of larger organizations that were better able to weather the growing pains and realize the advantages. Fortunately, the caliber and scalability of today’s innovations typically lead to faster, easier adoption and almost immediate benefits, making many innovation breakthroughs available to companies of any size.
SAP illustrates this trend toward accessible solutions for companies of all sizes in rapid motion. Once viewed as a solution provider for only the world’s largest companies and industries, SAP has transformed over the years to deliver quality solutions to all ends of the market. It has developed, acquired, integrated, and continually enhanced a broad portfolio of solutions to meet a diverse range of industry and customer requirements. In doing so, SAP has helped enable smaller, emerging enterprises as well as larger, more established organizations to more effectively compete in local, regional, and global markets. To help support the needs of its diverse customer base, SAP has also established relationships with more than 13,000 highly qualified partners worldwide.
Validated Guidance for Small and Midsize Customers
The flexibility and breadth of services available from SAP partners continue to meet the needs of emerging businesses, and are key reasons that small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) represent 80% of SAP’s application software customers across the globe.
SAP goes to great lengths — via a comprehensive set of certifications, partner designations, and co-innovation initiatives — to ensure that partners are qualified to work with SAP solutions in customer environments. You can rest assured that authorized SAP partners can provide you with the solutions you need without risk to your SAP environment.
SAP expects 40% of its business to come through partners by 2015.
Through the SAP PartnerEdge program, rigorous certification standards ensure that SAP partners can serve as trusted advisors to SAP customers, with the training, technical skills, and industry-specific core competencies necessary to support ongoing success as customers strive to keep pace with technological evolution. Partners also have the opportunity to become specialized in particular focus areas — such as applications, analytics, mobile, cloud, and database and technology — or across the full spectrum of SAP solutions available, so they can provide customers with a choice of offerings.
In addition, SAP fosters co-innovation with partners, so customers’ industry-specific needs can be met on a local level by specialists who intimately understand unique company, industry, and technology requirements.
Delivering Value to Customers: Partners in Action
Whether you’re looking to apply sophisticated predictive analytics to your business, implement proven mobile strategies and capabilities, move into the cloud, gain new operational efficiencies, or make strides with real-time big data, SAP partners can take you there.
Let’s look at a few examples of how partners are currently helping customers benefit from SAP solutions and services.
Cognilytics: Providing Comprehensive and Powerful Analytics
San Jose, California-based Cognilytics — an SAP gold partner and a 2013 SAP Regional Partner Excellence Awards recipient — uses SAP innovation to provide powerful analytics services that go beyond just accessing data to help customers with what they really need to know: how to use that data. "It comes down to problem solving," explains Gary Gauba, CEO of Cognilytics. "Obviously you want fast access to data, but that’s really secondary to helping you leverage it to solve business problems and enable smarter decision making."
Cognilytics uses SAP innovation to provide powerful analytics services that go beyond just accessing data to help customers with what they really need to know: how to use that data.
Gauba describes Cognilytics as focused on "taming and monetizing data as a strategic asset" for customers, while leveraging big data analytics in the process. "Our industry experience combines with SAP innovation from all related perspectives, including new solutions based on the SAP HANA platform," says Gauba. "We’re applying the latest developments to support advances in everything from identifying the risk of default in large loan portfolios, to predictive maintenance of assets in the manufacturing or logistics industry, to identifying cross-sell or up-sell opportunities at the point of sale, to catching claim fraud early in the insurance industry. The list goes on — and the opportunities are virtually endless."
Seidor: Providing Cloud Hosting for SAP Solutions
Another long-term SAP partner, Seidor, with operations in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, has moved into mobile and cloud applications for SAP environments. "We immediately chose to accelerate our mobile direction as soon as we learned about SAP’s Sybase acquisition," says CEO Alejandro Daniel, acknowledging SAP’s track record in "making the right types of choices when it comes to their strategic direction and overall history of successful innovation."
Seidor also recently introduced a comprehensive SAP cloud hosting solution — specifically for small and midsize enterprises — that includes infrastructure, management, and monitoring for a monthly per-use fee, enabling customers to benefit from the added value of SAP solutions without costly overhead. Options based on SAP Business One are available for customers with as few as three and as many as 800 or more users in the hosted SAP Business All-in-One package.
Barcelona-based Eurofragrance, which specializes in the design and production of fragrances for clients across the world, opted to make Seidor’s hosted service available to 120 users while leaving the administrative tasks, including backups, to Seidor. The company’s CIO, Joan Carles Bernal, appreciates the "turnkey end-to-end management" and primary overall advantage: "It allows us to now devote more complete focus to the core aspects of our business."
Detaysoft: Maintaining an Edge with SAP’s Partner Program
Many SAP partners credit the SAP PartnerEdge program for supporting their success with customers and in the industries they serve. Through the program, partners gain convenient access to dedicated partner service advisors and a comprehensive portal with ample support materials, demos, and other resources.
Istanbul-based Detaysoft, an SAP gold partner and an SAP Regional Partner Excellence Awards winner for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region this year, is one partner that has realized the business benefits that SAP PartnerEdge resources provide. "This program is crucial in many respects," says Detaysoft’s Marketing Specialist Gamze Gürsel. "Consultants are continually updated and ready to apply the latest innovations as they engage customers. Pre- and post-sales support teams are fully in sync as well. SAP PartnerEdge delivers these advantages and much more in the most cost-effective ways possible."
The SAP PartnerEdge program also delivers structured learning opportunities — such as classroom training, workshops, and e-learning — to help partners enhance their expertise with SAP technologies and solutions and better serve customers. "Certification training makes a huge difference from all standpoints, helping ensure we have the right foundation and best practices to build our business," Gürsel says. "In addition, the SAP PartnerEdge program greatly facilitates marketing by giving us access to various assets and guidance that complements our internal resources. SAP obviously cares deeply about partner success, regardless of how big or small we are to them. They know partners are instrumental in the customer equation."
Enabling Successful Customer Evolution
Just as leading, established global corporations increasingly rely on SAP to operate more nimbly and successfully in this era of rapid change, SAP solutions have helped to enable thousands of emerging enterprises to take their success to the next level and become best-run businesses.
SAP partners are playing a key role in helping customers use innovation to get there. One example is Dallas, Texas-based Optimal. The SAP gold partner’s clients are "increasingly choosing hybrid architectures that feature a combination of on-premise, hosted, and cloud options, which makes our integration services and co-innovation with SAP — as well as other SAP partners — even more vital," says Elliott Garofalo, Optimal’s Senior Vice President of Emerging Markets.
Garofalo sums up Optimal’s partnership with SAP as "a journey rather than a destination," with constantly fluctuating global economic conditions making this progressive and proactive mindset particularly important. "Business never stops evolving," says Garofalo. "If you don’t evolve, then you’re in trouble."
To learn more about working with SAP partners or becoming an SAP partner, visit www.sap.com/partners.