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SAP puts the meat on the bones of its partner cloud migration strategy

SAP puts the meat on the bones of its partner cloud migration strategy

Earlier today, IT Europa reported from this week’s SAP UK and Ireland Partner Summit, and how the business software vendor aimed to generate more partner business through the cloud as part of big changes in its ecosystem.

Here, we explain how it will do it. Karl Fahrback, SAP chief partner officer, told attendees: “In the past, we have moved into the cloud [instead of relying on on-premise sales] by acquiring cloud companies, initially in the enterprise space.

“As a result, our cloud business grew, but the customer experience was not good enough. The service level agreements were not consistent and the different products were not integrated well enough.”

Fahrback said that during the pandemic, the company initiated a new plan, to enable most products to run from a common infrastructure and with common SLAs, with a growing company emphasis on cloud sales as a result.

He added that partner enablement was key to grow the cloud business and take many more customers off on-premise licenses. Expanding the partner cloud solutions business was also important, he added.

Fahrback also emphasised that partners needed a “clean core” to allow them to move forward on their SAP cloud strategies. Central SAP tools and APIs, along with integrated data flows that don’t change all the time are now being made available, he said.

As for AI, he said: “Again, partners are central. What are the AI uses cases? We need partners to help develop them with us.”

The SAP ERP roadmap and strategy is central to all this, of course. Eric van Rossum, chief marketing officer for cloud ERP at SAP, told the crowd: “With the varied portfolio we have, we can’t lead in every industry segment we operate in, but we are innovating to support partners in the cloud space.”

Partners are grouped into two cloud areas, although some cross over into both. The SAP RISE programme seeks to better support partners who are moving existing customers into more cloud services from their legacy SAP deployments, and the GROW programme offers special support to partners who are adding new SAP customers to the public cloud.

“GROW will never have the same functionality of private/RISE deployments, why would it, they are two different product offerings, it’s the public cloud versus the private cloud.

“But our development dollars are targeted at GROW and it is a clear partner business aimed at net new customers,” said Van Rossum.

He added: “As far as industry best practice is concerned when it comes to deployment, we already own that space, but there is plenty of room for partners to develop their own ‘partner IP’ in helping us get over the last mile to customers in specific industry verticals.”

As creating new GROW customers goes beyond the common “lift and shift” process prevalent in the RISE business, Van Rossum emphasised that some of the partner financial benefits for GROW were potentially double that available with RISE.