As more and more enterprise look at deriving better productivity from IT solutions, enterprise applications play an important role in terms of creating that ecosystem. Here is where global enterprise application provider SAP is focusing towards delivering smart enterprise solutions. ChannelDrive.in spoke with Mathew Thomas, Vice President – Strategic Industries, SAP India about the company’s focus for India.
Q) How is SAP positioning itself in the business applications space today, especially for the enterprise customers? Please share your go to market strategy for enterprise?
The enterprise applications landscape in India is evolving and expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. The enterprises are fast adopting these solutions also because they want to drive differentiation via increased operational efficiencies, enhanced agility, and improved customer experiences.
SAP is the market leader in the Indian Enterprise Resource Management market with 47.20 % market share and over 36% market share in the Indian Supply Chain Management (SCM) market.
India has a huge potential and we at SAP have adopted the right strategies on product development, research, and partner enablement to lead this market. We are concentrating our efforts in providing not only best-in-class enterprise solutions but also industry-specific applications for customers, thus helping them gain competitive advantage. For instance, today, the most complete and comprehensive enterprise business applications in the world are now ready to run on SAP HANA providing an unbeatable in memory platform. To sum it up, SAP is redefining business, redefining markets and redefining real-time.
Q) How do you look at cloud based applications? Is there any particular strategy that SAP has adopted towards engaging with enterprise on cloud based applications?
SAP is the world’s second largest enterprise cloud business and we aspire to be number one. SAP APJ grew triple digits in cloud in Q4 and Full Year 2013. SAP has the largest subscriber base with more than 35 million cloud users worldwide and more than 1 million in APJ. SAP has extensive international and multi-industry expertise and our cloud offerings integrate seamlessly with our core solutions. Our ambitions in the cloud are limitless.
SAP has a clear strategy and a detailed roadmap for delivering Cloud solutions and more importantly offering customers a choice/mix of on-premise and cloud applications based on what is right for the business. As a part of our strategy, all of SAP core offerings are now converging to run on one unified SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
We have now moved our entire core solutions (Suite+BW+Analytics) to the HANA Cloud. With all solutions moving to the Cloud powered by our real time platform HANA, we will simplify for our customers, extend our lead and drive growth that is more predictable and profitable for the long term. Our Partners will also offer our core solutions on HANA through their own SAP certified architecture. Customers and partners will build new apps on the HANA Cloud. With this shift we are confident that customers will consume innovation much faster and SAP will become ‘THE Cloud Company powered by SAP HANA’.
A major differentiator for us is that we offer unparalleled ability to our customers to integrate and take advantage of all their compute resources into Cloud to suit their business needs. One of our strategies is also to resolve the complexity involved in cloud technology and redefine the industry based on simplicity. We are simplifying our solutions and our business model and integrating it all under SAP HANA Cloud Platform. In short, we simplifying and integrating everything to be able to do anything!
For instance, our recently launched SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offers a comprehensive cloud infrastructure combined with managed services. Customers can now run their SAP HANA applications, including SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA, in a managed cloud environment. It is a key for running mission critical applications like SAP Business Suite in a dedicated way for enterprise customers. The HANA Enterprise Cloud, offers more than cloud hosting and managed services to the customer. We proactively manage their upgrade cycles, drive innovation adoption and take ownership of their landscape simplification. As a result, customers can consume innovations faster and easier and we drive maximum business value to our customers.
Q) What kind of enterprise verticals are you targeting from enterprise applications perspective?
Today, an increasing number of organizations from the various vertical industries are embracing enterprise applications. We are witnessing adoption in all types of the industries, be it matured and the ones that are looking to deploy new technologies. We are seeing a lot of traction amongst those segments that has not been traditional adopters, including public sector units like Air India and India Post, and defense sector like Indian Navy. Hence, government sector is becoming the fastest adopters of SAP solutions. Utilities across government and private sector like healthcare, education, dairies, and E-commerce are making huge investments in enterprise solutions today. The other segments like CPG, retail, metals and mining, pharma, chemical, and automotive sectors fall into the matured industries category that have always gone for enterprise applications.
Q) We keep hearing about cloud, virtualization, big data – what kind of response are you getting from the enterprise segment when it comes to virtualization and cloud technologies?
With the rise of concepts like cloud computing, mobility, big data analytics, and social engagements, the whole enterprise solutions market is witnessing a definite push. Enterprise mobility is also fundamentally changing the way people work. The ability to work anywhere anytime is a defining feature of modern business. SAP sets the new mobility standard with the most comprehensive mobility platform. Customers in India, particularly the small and midsize enterprises, are adapting mobility solutions from SAP to send information and applications to any device, anytime, anywhere — making mobility the “new reality” and the “new desktop.”
Some of the other key trends that we foresee making a huge impact in future are big data, Mobile BI, enterprise cloud and enterprise application offerings in the cloud space. At SAP, we also believe by deploying robust business applications like BI and the associated functionalities, organizations seek to extend some of the concepts like self service.
Q) Enterprise customers always work on their priorities and look for better value. How is SAP helping its enterprise customer community here?
The emergence of cloud computing, mobility, big data analytics, and social engagements have given rise to new market demands for smart, simple yet cost effective plug and play enterprise solutions. However, cost constrains, complexity, limited time and human resources, combined with the need to drive growth and profitability, make it difficult for enterprises to choose the right technology tools that will provide them better RoI.
We, at SAP are committed to design innovations that will enable enterprises to reap the benefits of mission-critical enterprise applications instantly, without committing to huge initial investments on hardware. Our entire portfolio of products provides our customers cost effectiveness and business flexibility. In addition to reducing operational costs, our technology has also become the basis for radical business innovations and significant improvements in the efficiency of its users.
Q) What kind of solution providers do you work for when it comes to fulfilling your enterprise application needs is concerned?
For any company to grow its business, they need right partners –for both core products as well as new innovations. Partners not just provide an organization with reach – but they also considerably mitigate the risk of doing business with for the principal. As partners become the critical guidance for our route to market, it is pivotal for us to identify and recognize appropriate partners based on the product category.
With close to 11,500 partners worldwide, SAP provides extensive support for all markets and solutions to help fuel innovation and provide choice for customers of all sizes. Our partners understand the changing landscape and customer demand. In last couple of years, we have almost doubled our partner landscape by adding new partners across newer categories like Platforms, Cloud, Mobile& Analytics apart from expanding our footprints in traditional applications portfolio. With evolution of mobility and cloud as strong choices for customers – we ensure that our strategy to reach the customer through partners is aligned with the same.
We have added partners in Platform, Analytics and enhanced our reach through ISV, OEM and in the managed services space. SAP now has a big focus on cloud and we have added our capability in this category through partners and provided the flexibility to the customers to choose the business model based on their requirements. Together with partners, we have acquired many business opportunities that has enabled us to grow and flourish with indirect business contributing to more than 40% of the total SAP business in the country
Q) Please name some of your best performing solution providers working in the enterprise space?
I am extremely pleased with the success and progress of all our partners and the transformation journey they have embarked on with us. Our aim is to keep the focus & be agile, enhance the skill sets proactively to be able to provide adequate & holistic coverage to the customers. This requires time, resource and patience in abundance. We are committed to make all our partners successful as our success is tied to their success.