SAP Partners need skills shift for Intelligent Enterprise

SAP partners need to shift gears with new mindsets and new skills to maximise the benefits afforded by the new applications and platforms enabling the intelligent enterprise. That was a key take-away from the SAP Business Forum 2018 held recently at SAP offices in New York City.

Transform your organisation with SAP

At the event, SAP partners and customers described the challenges and benefits of transforming their organisations into the intelligent enterprise – SAP’s cloud-based initiative to integrate traditional back-office systems with modern tools including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

In an update of the traditional GIGO rule of thumb, migrating to S/4HANA requires more than a simple migration – otherwise, garbage-in-garbage-out will ensure that the full benefits of the intelligent enterprise will elude the organisation. Instead, this is an opportunity to radically and fundamentally simplify business processes, according to Franck Cohen, SAP president of digital core and industry solutions. He said organisations must evolve their thinking. “If you bring that complexity into (S/4HANA), you don’t fundamentally change the way you do business,” said Cohen. “(ERP) has been pretty boring for the past 30 years, but it’s about to become very interesting now. This will change the way we do ERP.”

“The future is not about customisations anymore,” he said. “It’s now an opportunity to include intelligence.”

SAP works with partners both big and small

The forum also shone a spotlight on some of the challenges SAP faces in working with smaller partners. Ray Boggs, vice president of SMB research, IDC, said that under the leadership of Diane Fanelli, SAP seems to be “doing a better job of leveraging business partners of all stripes, systems integrators as well as traditional ISVs.” Fanelli is SAP’s senior vice president of global channel sales.

Because the necessary transitions will be less about technology and traditional partner capabilities and more about transformations at the strategic level, SAP partners of all sizes will need to rise to the challenge.

“Everybody is transforming — SAP is transforming, the partners are transforming and customers are transforming,” said Boggs.

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