In today’s interview, we sit down with Rustem Rymkulov, ICC Consultant and Partner Engagement Lead for SAP ICC Russia to discuss engagement activities with the newest certification center, unique insights into the local partner ecosystem, and plans for evangelizing SAP ICC’s certification programs and enablement services.


BARAJAS: With the establishment of ICC Russia, you will need to build a network of trusted resources from the ground up to help evangelize SAP ICC’s certification programs and enablement offerings for the local partner ecosystem.  With that stated, when was ICC Russia founded and how do you engage and build awareness for ICC services?

RYMKULOV: In September 2015, ICC Russia was formed and I was hired to work with the local partner ecosystem to help evangelize SAP ICC’s certification program and enablement services. Currently, I have a dual role as an ICC Consultant and Partner Engagement Lead.  As an ICC Consultant, I work with partners and ISVs as a trusted technical advisor to ensure they are successful with their ABAP Add-On Certification.  As a Partner Engagement Lead, I meet with partners and ISVs at various events to discuss the different options available for certification, along with meeting customers to educate them on the value of buying a certified solution.

BARAJAS: Since being with ICC Russia, you have met with partners and ISVs as a technical trusted advisor to build rapport and understand their integration needs with SAP solutions. Using that information, you have leveraged your extended network of allies to help partners and ISVs offer seamlessly integrated solutions into the Russian market.  Given your initial impressions, what additional insights can you offer about the local partner ecosystem found within SAP Commonwealth of Independent States (SAP CIS)?

RYMKULOV: SAP CIS has a unique region, where the local business economy tends to have highly educated people with vast knowledge about mathematics and IT.  Partners and ISVs use this knowledge to build strategic engagements with customers and prospects, since the market isn’t too big – it’s extremely small, which puts some limitations and restrictions on some opportunities.  The majority of customers are a part of the government, which is beneficial to partners and ISVs, since SAP is a globally recognized brand with a great business reputation.  This leverage gives the SAP partner ecosystem an opportunity to build, integrate, and certify solutions specific for this segment of the market.  With certification, they are able to build market awareness with an SAP certified logo and an online listing, which provides proof of technical alignment with SAP via a technical stamp of approval in the form of an e-Certificate.

BARAJAS: Learning about the local business economy helps to understand the needs of partners and ISVs, especially to ensure ICC’s certification programs and enablement services are successful. Since you help to enable and guide partners and ISVs through the engagement and certification process, where can they find out more information about ICC services and what are your plans for the rest of 2016?

RYMKULOV: At the earliest, Partners and ISVs can meet with me to discuss their certification projects in June at the SAP Partner Forum and SAP Co-Innovation Day in Moscow, Russia, along with the SAP Forum Astana in Astana, Kazakhstan.  In the fall, I’ll be attending the SAP Partner and ISV Forum in Minsk, Belarus or Kazan, Russia.  This will be an additional opportunity to discuss the benefits of certification with partners and ISVs and share best practices for using SAP-endorsed APIs to build and certify applications.  In addition, I’m also planning to offer webinars in the local language to have broader reach with the SAP partner ecosystem to educate them on the go-to-market benefits for certification.  Of course, they can always visit us on the SAP Community Network (SAP SCN) to learn about the latest certification programs and review some of the partner success stories as well.

BARAJAS: Thank you, Rustem for providing insight into the local Russian market.  I hope 2016 will be a successful year for SAP ICC Russia!

To learn more, please visit with the SAP Integration and Certification Center to explore potential certifications with SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Platform.  In addition, explore the latest promotional offers available with SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Platform for future certification projects.

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