Celebrating Dubai Customer Success Day June 20th 2023 at Al Futtaim Innovation Hub Facility
Hello, my name is Christian Turk, and I am the EMEA South head of the Customer Success Partner team for ISBN covering SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, and SAP Business Network Customers. I am based in Barcelona Spain and have been with SAP for close to 11 years and joined Ariba nearly 23 years ago. Before SAP and Ariba I have been working in IT consultancy firm and in the CPG industry.
Within ISBN (SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, and SAP Business Network) field organization we have a deep belief that we can only learn and progress when working collectively with our customers. One of the main values of our team is customer-centricity and focus. Each Customer Success Partner of our EMEA South team is measured by their customer portfolio business target attainment via the adoption of our technology and implementing and driving the associated best practices during their adoption and transformation journey. That’s why it has been an absolute honor to co-host – 2 weeks ago – our Customer Success Day in Dubai at the Al Futtaim Group Innovation Hub facility. More than 30 customers invested their time to attend this full-day event and – more relevant – participated actively in the sessions and discussions. I want to put some lines here below to reflect on the purpose, benefits and specific outcome of the June 20th CSD.
Why SAP ISBN organize Customer Success Days?
Based on multiple years of implementing and working alongside customers to ensure the adoption of our solutions we can infer two major and very high-level learnings :
- Digital Procurement Transformation is never “straightforward”,
- Customers have very different and unique contexts and situations which make their journey to digitalization very different.
Therefore benchmarking is definitively a key step. Benchmarking has always been in the DNA of the Procurement Officer and Buyers but it is even more crucial to have access to the community and to extract the precious lessons learnt and practices that can make a difference.
The diversity of experiences and journeys is the main richness of our field I would like to add, having the engagement of customers and practitioners in the same room is therefore the unique way to accelerate benchmarking, and sharing of experience but also a unique opportunity from SAP ISBN standpoint to summarize what works and what remains the main roadblock in implementation and adoption. It is for me so refreshing and a continuous source of learning to sit down in these sessions to listen, receive and capture the feedback from customer and the discussions of our team of experts and CSP’s and fulfilling the role of trusted advisors to our customers. Next steps are planned and new areas of interests are visible to all.
Year over year we continue to observe customers extracting learnings and openly sharing their own tips, getting the re-assurance needed but also an opportunity to challenge their thinking : this is where the true benefits lie.
What makes a Customer Success Day a Good Day?
There are multiple factors to take into account while setting up and building a Customer Success Day, I would like to focus on a few :
- Customer are willing to host the event. This is absolutely critical that Customer Success Days are for existing ISBN customers, and it is also more engaging when this is hosted by the customer at their offices.
- Creating an environment for free speech. Offering an agenda that is customer oriented and being open to and encouraging questions and discussions. Time to exchange, creating a space where sharing is spontaneous makes 50 % of the success, learning about successes and failures. No limitation on feedback: any feedback is good.
- Good Coffee or Tea Break. Informal discussion, networking, and exchanging experience and encourages that spontaneity.
- Bringing SAP vision of innovation but also to Adoption Practices. It is not only about sharing on the technology it is about how the technology can release the potential business case customers want to achieve but also how many lessons learned we have on a specific topic.
When we start organizing and preparing a Customer Success Day, we are investing time and energy to secure the 4 key principles are covered.
Our experience on June 20th in Dubai.
Our experience at Al Futtaim Group on June 20th has been absolutely unique and the good mix of the 4 elements above was achieved but most importantly the quality of the speakers but also the exchanges were above standards. I would like to highlight :
- Himanshu Shrivastava CTO introduction on how AFG focus on Digital Core Transformation and how much-specialized solutions like Ariba assist in expanding automation in key areas of Al Futtaim Business.
- Brijesh Ansari Al Futtaim CPO for offering us the opportunity to host the event in Al Futtaim Innovation Hub Group and also for sharing on the journey of Al Futtaim and talking in the Breakout about Change management and user mobilization within an international program. We are also extremely thankful for the contribution of Jaffer Mehdi, and Nick Gantt from Al Futtaim during the day of discussion.
- Rogen Varghese from Etihad Group was kind enough to share Etihad’s experiences around
- Mohamed Samak Aramex CPO for his insight on how to manage the change when deploying Ariba globally within an aggressive timeline in an extremely busy organization.
- Extremely engaging discussions and exchanges on ISBN key Innovation Roadmap sharing best practices in Deploying the Ariba Network and how SAP BTP can complement the Ariba and Fieldglass implementation scope
The outcome of this event is celebrated by our customer attendance, and we have seen customers and SAP experts continuing their engagement far beyond the sessions on the day with multiple follow-ups. Our ambition is to replicate these across the region and to continue to offer to the Community of customers the best possible.
Thank you to all for participating and for reading!