At the end of the day, no matter how great the demo went, customers need a solid, simple, yet engaging answer as to WHY they should choose SAP. “Yes, you showed me a great application that met my business process needs, but why else? Why should my company make this investment in SAP rather than another provider who may also be able to solve the same problems with an application?”
Next time you are faced with this important question, arm yourself with this exciting answer.
Why SAP? Well, it really boils down to two words: INNOVATION & ORCHESTRATION. Let’s start with the first: INNOVATION.
SAP has focused our innovation strategy on 5 key markets.
For the past 40 years, SAP has heavily innovated in 2 major areas.
– The first: Enterprise Resource Planning- What ERP does is it takes large amounts of transactional data and stores it logically in one central place so that all the necessary people have access to it.
– The second is Line of Business applications. These can plug into ERP and cater to the more complex and unique needs of each line of business. For example, Customer Relationship Management handles more complex sales service and marketing needs while Human Capital Managment helps to manage an organization’s most valuable resources: their people.
These ERP and LOB applications are SAP’s Systems of record. They handle all the day to day transactions that occur in a business. This is our “information in” strategy. It is what has made who we are today. Companies by the tens of thousands have invested in these applications and they are working. How do we know they are working? Well over 70% of the world’s GDP touches SAP systems. To make them increasingly accessible, further innovations like Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDS) allow companies to implement these applications with a defined scope and
In terms of getting information in, our customer tell us it is fairly easy. But what about information out? A few years ago, SAP innovated once again in the business analytics space.
– These are our “systems of engagement”
– They allow our customers to manipulate the transactional data and make better decisions.
Now, these applications and analytics were generally for customers using Desktop and laptop PCs. However, as a society, we are transitioning away from these devices to mobile devices. Mobility is changing the way we consume and expect to consume information. For example, in 2012, there are already more phones than people and by 2020, there will be 6 to 10 times the number of phones than people.
– In 2012 we made a strategic investment in Sybase, the leader in mobile technology. This provides another channel for our customers to analyze, transact, and market.
4. Database & Technology
Let’s talk about the concept of BIG DATA. According to experts, corporate data doubles every 18 to 24 months. This certainly can hinder the performance of applications and analytics. Customers want real time access to their information. At SAP, we listened and brought end user closer to not only historical data in ERP but to the transaction itself. With SAP’s HANA, we provide In-memory computing, in real-time, giving immediate access to information regardless of how much data and where it is stored.
SAP is best positioned to support on-demand services because we understand business process. With SAP’s Business ByDesign, we offer a similar strategy as ERP to small/midsized companies and subsidiaries. Business ByDesign handles end-to-end business processes on-demand, meaning no hardware/software is needed, providing business benefits on the fly. We continue to add to that portfolio. Our recent strategic investment in Success Factor has allowed SAP to become the #1 cloud provider in terms of # of users.
We didn’t stop there. With Platform as a Service (PAAS) we extend what we deliver on-demand by allowing our customers to create and develop their own cloud offerings.
Okay, so you’rehearing the same story from others in the market. They will acknowledge allfive of these areas are important in today’s business world. But how is SAP different? ORCHESTRATION.
We allow our customers to leverage their on-premise assets with on-demand execution, safelyand securely. What do I mean by that? Let’s look at the order-to-cash scenario:
– Imagine taking an order on the iPhone with the ERP Order Entry app. You validate customer, check pricing, enter the product.
– Then out to ERP for an ATP check against other sales orders and what’s going on in manufacturing.
– Supply Chain Management to check global trade regulations.
– Customer Relationship Management to generate a workflow sent to the iPad for approval or rejection.
– Back to ERP to pick, pack, ship and bill the customer.
– Finally, reach out to the cloud to analyze the profitability of that product…from the iPad… 40,000 feet in the air.
At the end of the day other competitors will say you need to do it put all these piece together yourself.
Through our INNOVATIONS @ SAP, we will deliver the integration and orchestration for you.
In my experience, I have seen this discussion work best after a demonstration as a strong closing remark. If you work in the 5 key areas within your demonstration, this conversation can further solidfy and sum up what they saw, while still answering that pressing “WHY SAP?” question.
It is human nature to ask WHY. And it is truly SAP’s nature to deliver not only the answers, but also the results.