The SAP partner ecosystem has never been stronger. The breadth and depth of the ecosystem is expanding, and SAP customers continue to realize more benefits — in traditional and new areas — from our partners. Today, approximately 13,000 companies around the world actively work with SAP to fuel co-innovation, address customers’ business strategy needs, and develop and deploy solutions. Partners provide more than 370,000 trained consultants to help SAP customers succeed; they are also the driving force behind the goal to have in excess of 1 million developers building applications and solutions on SAP platforms by 2015. Thanks to the partner ecosystem, customers have more choice — and access to more expertise — than ever before.
What’s more, SAP is tapping into the expertise of our partner ecosystem across all of our key market categories and innovation areas, including SAP HANA, cloud, mobile, and analytics. In each of our innovation areas, we are engaging with partners of all types and sizes through initiatives such as the SAP PartnerEdge program for Application Development, and we are furthering our relationships with global technology leaders, including HP, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Hitachi, Fujitsu, and many others.
SAP has its partner community to thank for a significant portion of its growth in the past, in the present, and into the future. Today, partners contribute more than 35% of global SAP software revenues, and we expect this contribution to increase to 40% by 2015. The strategic importance of our partner relationships is clear. As SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott says, "Partnering is not a choice for SAP. The choice has been made."
One of the ways SAP recognizes the efforts of our partners is through the SAP Pinnacle Awards, given to those companies that both demonstrate their commitment to a strong customer-focused partnership with SAP, and deliver outstanding results (see Figure 1). Each year we use the awards to showcase these partners’ leading-edge practices and solutions that ultimately help our customers run better and extend the value of their SAP investments.
The SAP Pinnacle Awards program takes a two-pronged approach. First, the awards recognize the impact of leading partners that provide the right mix of innovation, expertise, and resolve to help customers run better. For example, AlertEnterprise received an award for its SAP HANA innovation that provides early detection, prevention, and response to potential security incidents. China-based award winner Shanghai Data Converging was recognized for its ability to provide customers with critical insight into retail management best practices through a leading-edge analytics solution.
"We put customer success at the center of everything we do. The SAP Pinnacle Awards are designed to help SAP and its partners succeed where it really counts — with customers."
- Mark Ferrer, SAP AG
Second, the awards are designed to help winning partners grow their own businesses and run better. Simply put, we want partners to be as efficient and effective as possible at serving our customers. To achieve this, SAP works with award winners to educate them about our customers’ vision for the future of technology, provide opportunities for market recognition as an SAP Pinnacle Award winner, and open the door to discussions within SAP to enhance future collaboration.
All of this translates into a stronger relationship that helps SAP and its partners deliver even better solutions and services to customers. As SAP AG’s Mark Ferrer, Chief Operating Officer, Global Customer Operations, and Head of Global Ecosystem & Channels, says, "We put customer success at the center of everything we do. The SAP Pinnacle Awards are designed to help SAP and its partners succeed where it really counts — with customers."
Celebrating Success in 2013
In 2013, SAP recognized 16 companies with 19 SAP Pinnacle Awards across various categories. Award categories are carefully designed each year to ensure they remain current and reflect the latest priorities of SAP and its customers. Each category has its own selection criteria, and the selection process ensures that partners from around the world are considered equally.
The SAP Pinnacle Awards program is, in fact, a year-long campaign. Immediately after the 2013 winners were announced in March, they were listed on a dedicated page at www.sap.com/pinnacle. At SAPPHIRE NOW, senior executives from the winning companies were invited to an exclusive reception with SAP executive leaders, including Co-CEO Bill McDermott (see Figure 2). Also at SAPPHIRE NOW, winning companies enjoyed special recognition in front of the 20,000 event attendees. Special award displays, along with promotions throughout the show, helped highlight our winners so customers could learn more about their achievements.
A Blueprint for the Future
We plan to continue to evolve the SAP Pinnacle Awards to help align with the goals of SAP, our partners, and, most importantly, our customers. In 2014, we will introduce a new award based solely on the customer voice — more details on this will be released shortly.
Why is this program so valuable to the SAP community? Each year, winners of the SAP Pinnacle Awards are inspired to break new ground. They innovate, help customers transform their businesses, and redefine the boundaries of traditional technology partnerships. For our customers, the program helps identify the movers and shakers to watch within our expanding ecosystem.
To learn more about the SAP Pinnacle Awards program, visit www.sap.com/pinnacle.