SAP may not be traditionally known for its channel partnering, but the company is driving a channel-centric go-to-market for its applications and cloud services.

In fact, about 80% of SAP’s business is currently to SME customers – and this is delivered through 12 000 resellers around the world.

With its cloud offerings, the company expects to extend this partner ecosystem, particularly in the South African and African context.

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What SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform offers resellers

The days of segmenting partners into “types” are long gone – today, resellers offer a variety of products and services. In fact, only 16% of resellers focus on one model exclusively.

“So partners today sell, implement and develop their own solutions,” says Erich Ehlers, SAP solution centre: Africa.

This is where the HANA platform comes in, Ehlers says. Not only can SAP applications run on HANA in the cloud, but the platform itself is now available in the cloud – and partners can build their own solutions.

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Data availability drives digital business

Businesses are looking to their value-added resellers to help them make the difficult and complex digital transformation journey – but it is by no means an easy journey, says Simon Carpenter, chief technology advisor at SAP Africa.

“We also need to help customers understand that this stuff is coming really fast. In the exponential world, there are big hairy expectations – growth is not linear.”

SAP is well placed in this journey, Carpenter says, since it already touches many of the world’s leading companies.

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Bringing it all together

Running a digital business is complicated, and it’s not easy for management to get a full picture of what’s going on in the entire enterprise.

BusinessObjects Cloud is the new software as a service (SaaS) offering from SAP that offers a new range of analytics functions.

Importantly, it is connected to both on-premise and cloud applications so customers can do analytics on a range of data, using the cloud.

It includes business intelligence (BI), planning and predictive capabilities, with governance, regulation and compliance (GRC) coming soon.

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Cloud opportunities by design

Business by Design, SAP’s complete cloud-based business solution, offers a major opportunity for South Africa partners.

Mark Timms, head: sales and channel partner general business and partner operations, points out that the South African market, along with the rest of SADC, is categorised as General Business, so it’s all open for South African reseller partners.

Moreover, he says, SAP Africa hopes to drive 65% of its business through partners. “This creates a massive opportunity for potential revenue.”

Business By Design includes all of the regular ERP modules in one application, with one interface that is easy to use.

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Cloud offers quick success for HR

The workplace of the future is going to be very different to what it is now: there will be more freelance employees, and workers will be more in control of their professional lives.

“As the world changes, there are many opportunities for partners as well,” says Liesl van Rensburg from SuccessFactors at SAP Africa.

SuccessFactors is a cloud-based platform designed to engage employees – to give human resources an edge and ensuring its place at the boardroom table.

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