Ready to Co-innovate with the New SAP?
If you didn’t have a chance to join Karl Fahrbach, SAP’s Chief Partner Officer, at the SAP Global Partner Success Kickoff call on Feb 9th, I would strongly encourage you to watch the replay and check out some of the deep dive sessions that set the stage for our joint 2023 priorities.
Here are my personal top two takeaways from the call. First, we had a great ride with our partners in 2022. It was a record year of success for our ecosystem with our partners delivering 90% of implementations in our installed base and 80% of SAP new customers. Second, Karl and SAP top executives made it crystal clear that we are shaping up a NEW Ecosystem Centric SAP with partners as an integral part in everything we do. Partners play a key role in our aspiration to be the world’s #1 enterprise solution company. Everyone, not just only the partner-facing colleagues, but everyone within SAP will have the partner in mind with everything we do. From our product strategy from RISE with SAP to our partner programs, we leave a lot of white spaces and opportunity for partners to work side by side with us in serving our customers and to co-innovate with us to create their own intellectual properties (IP) that are integrated with SAP solutions based on joint customer requirements.
2023 is another critical year in our transformation into an ecosystem centric company. SAP will continue to rollout core innovations for our portfolio of enterprise applications, especially our digital core SAP S/4HANA, and will closely with our partners, help our customers in their post pandemic digital transformation journey. Among all the opportunities out there, I would encourage our partners to take a close look at the following SAP top priorities that will drive many co-innovation opportunities for you.
- Keep our digital core clean and agile
A clean core gives SAP the agility to roll out innovations constantly. SAP has built many APIs in our core to empower extension and customization. We are committed to innovate without breaking customer custom code. Partners can play a great role in helping our brown field customers (with previous versions of ERP) manage their customizations while migrating to SAP S/4HANA.
- Increase adoption of our SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP)
The clean core won’t work without a platform enabling our ecosystem to extend and integrate with SAP. SAP BTP (SAP Partner access only) provides a common foundation for both SAP core innovation and ecosystem co-innovation. As shown in figure 1, with more than 90 services packaged into one platform, and more services being added on a regular base, SAP BTP brings together application development, data and analytics, integration, and AI capabilities into one unified environment optimized for SAP applications. At the core of SAP BTP we offer capabilities for application development and automation and an integration suite for bringing SAP and partner solutions together.
We encourage all partners and customers to use SAP BTP as the foundation for developing co-innovations with SAP moving forward.
- Drive end to end business process innovation with Industry Cloud
What really makes SAP stand out from our competitors is our deep expertise in more than 26 industries. Starting from our first financial accounting system SAP R/1 in 1973 to SAP S/4HANA Cloud today, our industry solutions provide transparency, resiliency, and sustainability across supply chains. Each Industry Cloud brings together the best of SAP’s 50 years of deep industry expertise and the best of our partner ecosystem to provide industry-specific cloud-based solutions as a service. These solutions are built on SAP BTP and work natively with SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
This is a rapidly growing field in which SAP has been investing heavily to roll out solutions to help our customers manage their green line (sustainability), together with their top line (revenue) and bottom line (profitability). This is a vast and wild innovation frontier, and there are tons of opportunities for partners to work with us to help our customers become intelligent and sustainable enterprises.
Figure 1 – SAP BTP is the common foundation for solutions built by SAP and our ecosystem
As SAP is transforming into an ecosystem centric company, this is the best time to partner with us. Our award-winning SAP PartnerEdge program is designed to embrace collaboration and co-innovation with partners of all sizes. No matter what you do, being it building, (re)selling, servicing, or hosting/running solutions, we have a program designed for you to partner with SAP.
No matter which program you choose to join, we offer you opportunities to create content and IP with us. Of course, everything you create, you want to commercialize it and go to market (GTM) with SAP. We offer at least three main routes to take your content/IP to market with us, as shown in figure 2 below.
For partners who build IPs with us, SAP Store is the marketplace to go. Accessible by more than 440,000 SAP customers, the store offers a flexible progression journey (SAP Partner access only) for our partners to showcase and sell their solutions to our customers. As they are advancing through the progression journey, partners get more and more stronger support from SAP to grow their business with SAP and our customers.
For our sell partners, our SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged solutions (QPPS) program offers opportunities to promote on sap.com their integrated solutions combining SAP software with their industry or line-of-business expertise.
Our service partners with a valid SAP BTP use case can leverage the recently rolled out Validated Partner Use Case (VPUC) (SAP Partner access only) GTM route.
As mentioned earlier, we encourage the use of SAP BTP as the foundation for developing co-innovations with us. That doesn’t mean you can only use SAP BTP for co-innovation. SAP is a large world, there are many colleagues out there supporting all kinds of co-innovation cases.
In my 23 years with SAP, I have worked in many different roles. Many of you may know me as the head of SAP Co-Innovation Lab in Palo Alto. My roles changed more during the last two years, but my focus has always been supporting our partners to co-innovate with SAP. Now I am the head of SAP Partner Co-Innovation Desk for North America, Latin America and the Caribbeans region. The Partner Co-Innovation Desk is part of our Partner Solution Adoption team with a clear focus on SAP BTP, so for the rest of the blog, I will mainly focus on support we provide for SAP BTP use cases. Please note that it may require an active SAP partnership to access some of the assets I am going to introduce below. Please feel free to reach out to me if you need support in joining our free open ecosystem and/or becoming a formal partner with us.
For every partner who wants to build co-innovation around a valid SAP BTP use case and needs enablement and expert support, I would strongly encourage you to add a bookmark to this comprehensive guide to the SAP BTP enablement assets and coaching services (SAP Partner access only) created and managed by colleagues in my group, and to check back often since new content is added frequently.
The guide to the SAP BTP enablement assets and coaching services covers everything you may need know about what SAP offers to help partners co-innovate with SAP BTP, from getting your team certified with SAP expertise, to getting 1:1 expert support for specific use cases, to securing dedicated SAP partner engineering support to help you drive an idea all the way to a marketable solution.
Let me highlight a few key assets from the guide below.
With hundreds of thousands partner employees working on SAP BTP, we need a scalable solution for everyone with right authorization to access and learn at their own pace. We have invested heavily on creating scalable self-paced digital learning curricula for partners as shown in figure 3 below. The role-based curricula enable partner salespeople, developers, and consultants to go through a well-defined learning map to build their SAP BTP skillsets with the potential to get certified by SAP for a chosen track.
Figure 3 SAP BTP Digital Enablement Assets (check out the guide to access links in the diagram)
In today’s market, solutions and knowledge evolve rapidly to meet constantly changing market situations. SAP provides many virtual events and bootcamps to keep our partners up to date with our SAP BTP solutions. Please check out the complete menu of the relevant virtual events and boot camps in the SAP PartnerEdge Portal calendar (SAP Partner access only).
As examples, below are a few recent bootcamps. If you missed them, replays are available for you to catch up (SAP Partner access only links):
- SAP BTP Extension Suite and SAP BTP Integration Suite (replay)
- Cloud Native Architecture and SAP BTP, ABAP Environment (replay)
- SAP Business Technology Platform Sales Bootcamp (replay)
- Building Intelligent and Sustainability Scenarios with AI & Planning on SAP BTP (replay)
A good example of events managed by us is the recent SAP Partner Co-Innovation Days in San Ramon, California, that attracted more than 140 partners and SAP colleagues to attend onsite. You can get a great recap of this in person event from the blogs written by my colleagues Mordechai Moshin and Alexandra McGhee (insert link ), and numerous LinkedIn postings from the participants.
We understand that no matter how well we design the digital enablement assets, people need to talk to subject matter experts to deep dive on certain use cases. That’s why we have assembled a global team of domain experts to offer qualified partners opportunities to meet 1:1 with us to discuss best practices and architectural guidance.
As shown in figure 4, the coaching services cover each stage of taking an innovative idea to monetization with SAP. Most of these services are complementary to our partners. Only a few premium services such as Co-Innovated With SAP (SAP Partner access only) are fee-based. The guide contains a one pager with detailed explanation of each service, including links on how to book them via SAP Partner Benefits Catalog.
Figure 4 SAP BTP Coaching Service Portfolio (check out the guide to access links in the diagram)
For more details on how to bring out the best in Innovation via coaching services, please check out my colleague Pavel Penaz’s featured article on Partner Enablement through Coaching.
The good news is that a lot of great services are available to our partners as shown in figure 4. On the flipside, you may easily get dizzy just by looking at figure 4, which is crowded with so many offerings. It may be tough for partners to figure out which service to use for what. Don’t worry, we have thought about the challenge as well, and the answer is explained in the blog written by my colleague Katharina Helbig on the SAP Co-Innovation Desk and its Co-innovation Advisory Service (SAP Partner access only)
As shown n figure 5, the co-innovation desk is chartered to help analyze partners’ SAP BTP use cases, to identify and bring in the right SAP expert team(s) to support the partner’s co-innovation journey as needed.
Figure 5 SAP Partner Co-Innovation Desk and its Co-Innovation Discovery Service
The SAP Partner Co-Innovation Desk works very closely with a few other teams for support requests that go beyond the coaching services. You should keep their contacts handy as well.
The SAP BTP Partner Help Desk covers general support for all SAP partners. If you are new to the SAP world and want to sign up with a partner program, the help desk can help you decide which program to join and support you in your onboarding process. For all existing partners, the desk can help you with any questions with regards to SAP BTP partnership programs (sell, service, build). They can also assist in the process of publishing your apps in SAP store.
For Partners that already have a tangible SAP BTP use case, a development plan for a SAP BTP-based offering, and are now looking at the next step of commercializing it, you may want to book a session with the SAP Commercial Model Advisory Service (SAP Partner access only). Through a series of virtual sessions, SAP Commercialization Experts will work with you to understand your go-to-market strategy and goals and recommend the commercials models that fit best for you.
If you only want to remember three things from this blog, here is what I would like you to take away:
- It has never been a better time to partner with SAP, as we are transforming into an ecosystem centric new SAP.
- SAP has invested heavily on enabling partners to co-innovate with us on SAP BTP
- The SAP Partner Co-innovation Desk, together with many other teams, is here to support you in your SAP BTP co-innovation journey
- Guide to SAP BTP enablement assets and coaching services
- Partner solution progression journey with SAP Store