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This is the third blog post in the “Road to SAPPHIRE” series chronicling the SAP Retail team’s efforts before, during, and after the SAPPHIRE 2013 conference.  Click here to read other posts in the series as well as additional writings by Michael Schulze.



By the time this blog is published, there will be twelve days left until SAPPHIRE NOW takes off in Orlando.  So far we have over 11,300 people registered to attend with a very large contingent representing our retail industry.  If you’re reading this and have not yet made your plans to register, please consider doing so. 


Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about some of the exciting things going on behind the scenes with the SAP Retail team and some of our customers.This week, I want to focus on our outstanding SAP Retail partner ecosystem – a topic that’s near and dear to my heart since I was responsible for our large SI and ISV partner ecosystem in 2011-2012 before leading the North American Retail team last April.


SAP has always been at the center of a vibrant partner ecosystem, and rightfully so.  The strength of a rope depends on its individual threads.  We’re constantly adding threads to our rope because we believe in partnership that benefits everyone.  Partners are integral to how we create value and bring it to the market.  More important, partners are essential to helping us deliver the value our customers expect.


“Our ever expanding partner ecosystem and multi-channel go-to-market is core to our growth strategy,” said SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott when announcing our Q2 2011 earnings.


That was around the time SAP announced a number of very ambitious goals to reach by 2015, including:


  • Doubling our addressable market to US $230 billion
  • Generating  €20 billion in annual revenue
  • Achieving a 35% operating margin
  • Reaching 1 billion users


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Our ever expanding partner ecosystem and multi-channel go-to-market is core to our growth strategy: McDermott

Just a few weeks ago, we closed our first quarter defying industry trends and grabbing a sizable chunk of market share from our competitors.  SAP confirmed to the press that we are on target for our 2013 guidance and announced that we fully expect to meet our 2015 goals.  None of this is possible without partners.  Throughout my business career, I have clung to the principle that winners win and teams of winners win more.   SAP is successful in its own right, but including partners as part of our team helps make SAP more successful and allows us to run better than our competition through a strategy of innovation.

In its 2012 Integrated Report, SAP counted over 12,000 partners in its ecosystem. This network includes some of the biggest names in services, vendors, channels, and technology innovation.  It even includes some of our biggest competitors! In a fantastic interview on Forbes.com with Eric Duffaut, President of the SAP Global Ecosystem and Channels, Dan Woods laid out our company’s strategy of investing in our partner ecosystem through improved leadership, co-innovation, and improved service enablement.

Real partnership is a two-way street.  Our partners are key to helping us achieve our 2015 goals, and we are committed to their success as well.  One of the ways we want to pour our value back into our partner community is through the SAP Partner Summit at SAPPHIRE NOW on May 13, 2013.  

Why should you attend the SAP Partner Summit?  It’s a unique opportunity to:


  • Get new sales leads
  • Grow your pipeline
  • Increase sales
  • Book one-on-one face time with SAP customers
  • Network with SAP executives and leaders
  • Discover the latest innovations in applications, analytics, mobile, database and technology, and cloud computing
  • Learn how to tap into SAP marketing, sales, and technology resources


Now is a better time than ever to be an SAP partner and to participate in our culture of co-innovation and shared value.  Partnes are an extension of our company and we value them as much as we value our own employees.  We’re in this together and there’s plenty of opportunity for everybody.  Working together we can continue the “retail revolution” with SAP solutions leading the way in delivering measureable value to our customers.


I hope you take advantage of the tremendous opportunities afforded at SAPPHIRE NOW – if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by the Retail and Consumer Products booth.  We’d love to know how we can help our partners deliver value like never before.


Register for SAPPHIRE and ASUG (May 14-16, 2013 in Orlando, Florida).


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