My Learnings & Insights about SAP as a company, the importance of Business Value and how different products such as SAP Leonardo, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Ariba etc. tie in to form the bigger picture
I recently started my internship in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Localization team as a Product Management Intern. In the beginning, I did not know much about the company except for one of their flagship products – SAP S/4HANA, and how good the culture and the benefits were in the company. More than the delicious food in the cafés, free drinks & snacks, the thing that impressed me most was the attitude of the employees. If I had to explain the biggest strength of SAP to someone who didn’t work here and did not know anything about what enterprise resource planning software packages or in-memory computing platform meant, I would say it is the people. Every person who I have interacted with seems to be extremely approachable and they make me feel comfortable to ask questions. I have interacted with directors and senior managers as if they are my friends from the MBA program without ever realizing how high up they are on the career levels. I had the misconception that IT professionals changed companies every few years but most people I have met who are not interns at SAP have been in the company ranging from around 10 to 20+ years. They seem really excited about their products and how the company culture is so understanding and flexible of their needs. It is refreshing to talk to a director who is excited about the next release or a senior director who explains how their team tries to acquire new customers despite not being market leader in a particular segment. This enthusiasm and excitement of my fellow employees is very attractive to me as it shows that they like to help others as well as really care about the products at SAP.
SAP’s strategy to me seems that we may not be the best product in each market segment but as a package & suite of enterprise software solutions we provide, we are very hard to beat. For example, we provide the SAP S/4HANA Cloud which offers core functionality for accounting, finance, procurement, sales, etc. and it is integrated with SAP SuccessFactors, our human capital management offering, SAP Ariba, our procurement process offering, SAP Hybris, our ecommerce offering etc. This multitude of integrated solutions is one of the biggest strengths of SAP as through our solution, the different areas of business talk to each other which helps make better decisions as well as enable automation and scale, enforce compliance, improve employee productivity, and enable innovative use cases and new business models. Also, the relationship with customers plays a key role in adoption of SAP software in companies. Our customers trust us to help them with any potential issues or provide them a customized solution if needed. At times, even if our product may not have all the features, they choose SAP due to our attractive pricing, comprehensive set of products and the trust they have on us. Another key aspect of SAP Products is they are business-value driven. All our products are geared towards providing business value rather than using technology for the sake of technology, for example SAP HANA’s real time analytics is extremely useful for customers to see how their transactions have real-time effects and they can make decisions accordingly. Even SAP Leonardo, the new digital innovation system is leveraged towards creating business value for customers with future-facing technologies such as Internet of Things, machine learning, block-chain, analytics and big data. One of SAP’s core strengths in marketing its solutions is using its own products for its own internal systems & employees which demonstrates the confidence in their own products and it helps with continuous improvement & testing of products. For example, we use Success Factors for Human Capital management or use solution manger to create process diagrams. It has been a fantastic first month for me which has included learnings about SAP Products, the culture, volunteering events etc. It is hard to explain everything in a short blog but to summarize it all I have learnt that SAP is a people driven company which cares about its employees as well as customers. It wants to create business value for its customers with its mission “to help every customer become a best-run business”. I am really grateful to be a part of its vision “to help the world run better and improve people’s lives” and I am enjoying my learnings in the process.