We are continuously growing in terms of revenue and also acquiring more customers
Vivek Malhotra, Vice President—General Business & Global Channel, SAP highlights the focus areas and discusses about partner packaging factory, which enables partners to grow with SAP. Excerpts:
—VIVEK MALHOTRA Vice President—General Business & Global Channel, SAP
How would you characterize the year went by for SAP? From my business perspective, SAP has done very well in 2017. Global Channels & General Business continues to be a growth engine for us in the country. We are continuously growing in terms of revenue and also acquiring more customers. Mid-market customers play a role in our growth story and for instance, out of our 9000+ customers, a significant 80% them belongs to SME segment, which we categorize as General Business (GB) vertical. In 2017, we’ve acquired the largest ever number of net new customers that we ever did for the GB line of business. And we will continue to acquire many net new customers every year. What we intend to do is going beyond metro cities. SAP will continue the activities to acquire new customers across industries and across geographies.
In the non-metro space, we have identified around 20 odd high focus clusters; which are a mix of different industries. We are collaborating closely with a lot of industry associations and communities and thus gradually increasing penetration into that market. And it’s not only about us increasing our business, but we are also providing our customers a structured way of working. It takes a good amount of training and our GTM primarily in the GB space is based on channels ecosystem, which is well equipped and trained.
Will there be any change in the GTM strategy in the ongoing year year?
Our plan primarily is to be 100% channel-led for our GB business vertical. We currently operate completely through channels in the entire non-metro space and it also includes some of the good chunks of metro space. We have considerably strengthened our partner ecosystem. We are planning to continue this momentum and from the 100 plus performing partners currently, we look forward to doubling it by the end of 2018.
In addition to this, we have partner enabling programs, such as the SAP PartnerEdge program. Under this initiative; our partners are invited on a regular basis to send their employees to be enabled on how to go about pitching SAP, on how to go about doing the implementation. We have trained a very large number of partners over the last couple of years and we will continue to do so.
Can you demystify Partner Packaging Factory?
Partner Packaging Factory primarily is an approach. With the help of it, we identify sub-segments in an industry, look at the solution that the partners have rolled out for their
customers, and then take those specific solutions to that specific industry sub-segment for a faster roll out.
And who are designing those solutions?
These solutions are primarily designed by the SAP partners, along with the a implementation methodology. We help them develop a storyline where they templatize it so that they can have a faster deployment. For example, a couple of months back we had created a storyline around GST-in-abox; which is a bundled solution with all the end-to-end elements required for the customers.
It included the hardware, the SAP S/4HANA solution as well as the entire lifecycle of the implementation. With GST-in-a-box, what we worked towards was that in about 10 to 12 weeks’ time, the customer would go live with these solutions. So, you’re talking about a customer making a purchase today, starting the implementation tomorrow and in 90 days, ready to go out into the market. So that’s what GST-in-a-box was, and that’s the direction where we are taking our Partner Packaging Factory to. We have close to around 30 odd solutions in the spaces of SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, CRM and others, which are ready for different industries, and different industry sub-segments.
Is SAP Leonardo a game-changer for the company?
Certainly. SAP Leonardo is a next-generation solution, which helps the customers with predictive analytics leveraging in some technologies such as IoT, blockchain, ma- chine learning, big data analytics among others.
What is the appraisal of adoption of newer tech by enterprises?
The manufacturing and discrete manufacturing sectors continue to be on the top, and that’s what the ‘Make in India’ storyline also talks about. We are also seeing the significant amount of adoption in our space coming into the services industries. So, we’ll start seeing that coming in as we move along with our newer offerings, which will get launched shortly.
On the SAP accelerated program
It’s progressing well. Beyond the programme, we are also working with quite a few start-ups in the country to build up apps on top of the SAP Cloud Platform, which can help enhance the productivity and efficiency of our customers. It’s a very important area of focus for us, and as we walk down that path, it’s making us a lot more flexible, agile and nimble in terms of the offerings that we give to our customers, or the start-ups can give to the customer in the market today.
Priorities for 2018
In a nutshell, ‘Grow with SAP’ is the main mantra for us. With respect to partners, our key focus would be enhanced reach into the market. Our key focus would continue to be working towards enabling the partners to get higher margins, and make sure our partners look forward to having our business is a lot more relevant.
We will also continue to grow in the non-metro space, expanding the partner ecosystem. Our cloud contribution has grown up significantly and faster than the market. So, those would be the key priority areas for us as we move ahead.
We are also seeing the significant amount of adoption in our space coming into the services industries. So, we’ll start seeing that coming in as we move along with our newer offerings, which will get launched shortly