Partner-To-Partner Collaboration: My Top Three Takeaways of Karl Fahrbach’s Message to Partners
In the industry cloud ecosystem, partner-to-partner collaboration is key to overall business success. With the help of our valued partners, the industry cloud ecosystem can expand its market reach by offering innovative industry solutions that contribute to customer success.
To reinforce SAP’s commitment to providing success for the ecosystem, our Chief Partner Officer (CPO) Karl Fahrbach shared a message with channel and reselling partners about the value of partner collaboration and how it’s an all-around win for SAP, partners, and customers.
My top three take aways from the video:
1) Standardization of solutions is important.
As we move to cloud, standardization of solutions becomes more and more important. In the cloud, it is too costly and takes too long for customers to make customized solutions every time they need to expand their system. In the past I have spoken with channel partners who really wanted to collaborate and use each other’s IP/solutions but could not manage due to the high cost of learning each other’s architecture choices, deployment, and operations methods. With SAP’s industry cloud this has been standardized. All solutions are architected in the same way and delivered in the same way via SaaS which makes it so much easier for partners to get the solutions up and running for their customers.
2) It’s a win-win-win-win situation!
The combination of SAP’s industry cloud standardization and partner-to-partner collaboration gives us a win-win-win-win situation!!!
- Customers: There are more solutions available for customer to solve their business challenges
- Reselling partners: If a prospect/customer has a crucial requirement not covered in core SAP, a channel partner’s option in the past was to try to 1) convince the customer that the need is not so important after all…. 2) find a work around or 3) set up a project to develop a special solution for the customer. Now there is a 4th option: leverage a standard industry cloud solution from another partner!
- Solution Partners: By leveraging SAP channel partners in addition to SAP AE’s to drive sales, the ROI of their investments are improved.
- SAP: One of the biggest challenges for SAP when it comes to its channel business is channel capacity! Many channel partners are overwhelmed by work. While this in principle is a good situation, it makes it a little bit harder for SAP to help more customers and grow its channel businesses. Historically, many channel partners spend quite some capacity developing customer specific system capabilities. By using standardized solutions instead of “reinventing the wheel”, channel partners can free up capacity which will help SAP improve its channel capacity.
3) Take partnership to the next level.
Within my long tenor with SAP, I have witnessed SAP become more and more serious about partners. SAP started with “giving opportunities to partners”. Then we move to “partners are important” to “we rely on partners” to “we can only do it with partners.” Now, we are moving to the next level by saying that partners cannot be successful relaying only on SAP, and they need to collaborate with other partners as well. This is partner ecosystem next level!
Moving forward I expect we will see SAP investing more and more effort in activities to connect partners to each other. A perfect example of this is the 2023 SAP connect event in Dusseldorf next week. Over the years we have seen this event transform from a way for SAP to inform partners on important topics to becoming a networking event where industry partners can connect and share knowledge.
There still are many skeptics out there wondering if partner-2-partner collaboration will really work. However, I am personally convinced that it will, and if you’re interested, I have written another blog post on this topic.
In fact, I have already witnessed this type of collaboration working in our SAP Business One business where our sellers and builders take the initiative to work closely together, even without SAP initiating or knowing about it. This is the type of scaling that you want as a vendor, achieved through a partner ecosystem.