I’m joining SAP AG.

A personal note.

I’ve accepted the role at SAP for Global Vice President, Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Solutions.

In the fall of 2011 I began to chart the next chapter of my career. I’ve had an amazing run over the last 10 years. Since 2002, well before the dawn of social networking, I’ve had the chance to lead teams that managed large scale transformation initiatives for some of the most well known organizations to blend process, intelligence and collaborative approaches and technology, to accelerate performance. As we saw the entry of new social and collaborative technologies in 2006 and the advent of the social customer, an opportunity arose to help articulate why connected enterprises matter, why it’s finally within reach and how to get the Business part right in Social Business. Along with my colleague, the super smart Oliver Marks, I got to help organizations execute on their business objectives under the Sovos brand.

Now it’s time for me to get in front of what I think the next incarnation of people-centric customer, partner and employee experiences will entail.

Many of you are familiar with my strand of social in the enterprise, as seen on this blog, client work and on stage at industry events. As I wrote last week, the first innings of social in the enterprise is over. Those organizations that are pre-disposed to experimentation have done so. And a good many have seen the light through the work of some amazing practitioners and leaders who have given social and collaborative constructs a shot. Yet at a majority of organizations, executives who generally invest in concepts and technology only when they easily see direct and obvious impact on performance objectives haven’t yet had their “aha” moment. And if they were tempted by the promise around social business, many are still looking for that bridge that practically takes them from a world designed around structured process to one that gets them to blend collaboration at every step of business tasks and processes and in a way that drives revenue and margin, lowers cost and mitigates risk.

Why SAP

My assessment of what it would take to execute this – specifically, aligning core business activity, data, process and exceptions with the right people and insights at the right places, quickly winnowed down the list of organizations that could most logically make this transition a reality for customers. With a pedigree in core business process, business intelligence and industry solutions, and a decisive go forward strategy that now includes real time processing, cloud and mobility, SAP’s product and solution portfolio is one of the few that affords the needed canvas to improve how we engage with customers and partners and how work really gets done internally. The right design will come from the proper infusion of collaborative constructs right where business context emerges for individual users at every customer – a) not just inside or along side but across applications that power complete each business activity, b) when and where real time business intelligence emerges, and finally, 3) at the right (device agnostic) points of consumption. Each of these contextual elements are core to SAP’s portfolio of offerings today – both directly and via its partners.

My work in this market over the years has given me a clear sense of what a product portfolio needs to offer to deliver what I describe above. And as important, the kind of program design follow-through to make sure customers can truly change how they connect employees with each other and to customers and partners. I’ve got a superb team that I’ve already started to get to know over the last few days. I’ll say more about our plans over the weeks and months to come.

Thank You

Over the last 6 months, I’ve made some big bets personally on what I think the future of social in the enterprise will really entail and I discussed this with a range of folks. Some helped validate my thinking on the overall software market at the early stages and others when it came time to pull to trigger. You know who you are. I can’t thank them enough for taking the time. I will post separately on this in the next few days.

Finally, I want to thank John Schweitzer, SVP, SAP, Sanjay Poonen, President, SAP and Chakib Boudhary, SAP’s Chief Strategy Officer. Each created a very open environment that allowed for both radical and practical thinking with respect to what can be, as we talked about my potential role and SAPs ambitions.

The enterprise software business is witnessing formulaic changes that will play out over the next decade and beyond. Today’s hot topics may well be SaaS, (big) data, social, mobile and whatever’s next. But fundamentally, it boils down to this: Employees, Partners and end Customers of software buyers are looking for a more meaningful, networked experience that positively impacts their 9-5 work day. Traditional measures of per seat and per user subscription will remain but what’s really underway in both the consumer and enterprise world is a race to power every hour of the end participant in a way that resembles how they want to work or play, yet ensuring meaningful outcomes. Looked at this way, you can easily see how traditional enterprise software caters to a fraction of the end users interaction needs between 9-5. The rest of that 9-5 time often involves substandard and fragmented engagement to meet stated goals. All of this means that the total addressable market for software is far larger that previously imagined and more importantly, those of us focused on purpose-driven systems of engagement will end up powering the majority of our customers, employees and partners time online.  It’s this coming change that really excites me to get to work.

The formal announcement from SAP is here.

News articles by Dennis Howlett, Paul Greenberg, Vijay Vijayasankar and Alan Lepofsky on the announcement.

On to the next chapter. I’m so, so stoked.

————————————————————————

P.S Going forward, the content here won’t change all that much. I actually plan to write even less about technology and more about what made this blog popular in the first place – how social and collaborative concepts can accelerate operational and financial performance.

P.P.S I’m a cook and white asparagus is a Walldorf specialty. -)

 

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53 comments
Mario Vargas
Mario Vargas

Hi Sameer, ijust got noticed about your move. Is a kind of big one, SAP will have a great leader in this market transition. I wa wondering how will be The Sovos Group next step, i do believe that boutique firms has a strong role in the change management and adoption process. Good luck and keep in touch. Mario

Piyushpatel65
Piyushpatel65

I don't think you will find what my happiness while heard a name of PATEL in SAP. It is  great achievement and keep it on and on please. Thanks, Piyush

Catherine Shinners
Catherine Shinners

Samir - congratulations and best wishes - on new directions with SAP and with lovely new addition to your family.     Exciting new era for you.  See you soon.

Laurence Lock Lee
Laurence Lock Lee

Nice move Sameer .... Or should I say, nice move SAP..... Perhaps we'll see some softening of the SAP process edges :)

Chris Yeh
Chris Yeh

Nice!  SAP is a very lucky organization.  Now let's get a good lunch to celebrate!

elsua
elsua

Hi Sameer! Whoaaahhh! Absolutely delightful piece of news! I'm just soooo happy for you and for SAP, too! A couple of days back there I was blogging away about how businesses needed to up their game (Link here) and start coming to terms with the notion of having to chose whether go through that social business transformation or keep aiming for earning the easy buck! I guess SAP just upped their game to an incredible level that will surely help the entire industry shake the ground and focus on what we really need to focus: transformation of the business as we know it to face the many, complex realities of the 21st century! And SAP couldn't have a better chance of having a go with getting your services! Absolutely fantastic!! I am really excited about this announcement, Sameer, and I know, for sure!, that you would be continuing to shine and lead the way! Remember that *transparent mentoring* we talked about just recently... Well, now coming up even stronger! Congratulations, my friend! And, yes, like Megan said above already, drinks are just *soooo* on you next time we meet up!!

KRCraft
KRCraft

Congrats, Sir. Makes perfect sense.

Branavan Ganesan
Branavan Ganesan

Congrats and good luck in your new role. Have been following you on twitter for a while and have enjoyed your contributions.  Look forward to more of the same.  I think its a fantastic thing that you plan to continue your social activity as a Global VP at SAP.  It is that kind of leading with action that is sure to spur on your team and hopefully those that constitute the extended network.  Will watch to see how you affect these changes and how the next innings pans out.

Henry Singer
Henry Singer

Great news, we'll be following closely. As a long time SAP implementation partner and enterprise collaboration evangelist I am keenly interested in SAP's moves in this space. Good luck.

monkchips
monkchips

good luck getting out from under SAP IT - they lockdown and make every social platform less effective.... your biggest challenge is likely to be maintenance of loose coupling for systems of engagement

Rawn Shah
Rawn Shah

Congratulations Sameer. It's a great move for you. And you're giving us hope that the industry recognizes that this is a new area that requires deep knowledge in the topic, and not just someone brought over from a related field to lead.

Scott Schnaars
Scott Schnaars

Sameer, this is so awesome.  Congratulations, man!

Stefano Gargioli
Stefano Gargioli

a Great Man in a Great Company... bring my greetings to old SAP friends! Good Luck!

Eric
Eric

Congress Sameer

Simon Scullion
Simon Scullion

Many congratulations Sameer!  Big news for all of us in the #socbiz space. Good luck!

CustomerKing
CustomerKing

Really big congrats and good luck for your next, so important, role in SAP (white asparagus is also a food specialty in Veneto, Italy where I live so maybe it can be a good sign also for me :D)

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrin

Congrats for your move. In my opinion that's the best evidence that "social" has a future...and that this future will be about business. This post brought me a kind a relief....

Cordelia Krooß
Cordelia Krooß

Congratulations, Sameer!!! This is a very exciting move - both for you and for SAP ! Will you come to Waldorf on a regular basis? BASF's headquarters is not far away :-)

Jesus Hoyos
Jesus Hoyos

Congrats! We will then need to talk soon about Latin America and collaboration! 

Megan Murray
Megan Murray

Congrats man. Well done. Drinks are so on you next time! ;)

Chiara Bersano
Chiara Bersano

Congratulations and welcome on board, Sameer. Great things ahead!

Chirag Mehta
Chirag Mehta

Congratulations! Looking forward to working with you. My credit goes to the SAP management to score someone like you. This will change the way SAP does business. On a side note, since you're now at SAP, you call it spargel and not white asparagus :) ...and I can show you the best place to get them when you are in Walldorf.

Gil Yehuda
Gil Yehuda

SAP is fortunate to gain one of the top minds and most respected professionals in the field of enterprise collaboration.  And I hope you have a great time at SAP too.  Congrats on an exciting piece of news.

nitinbadjatia
nitinbadjatia

Congratulations Sameer!  SAP definitely made the right choice for this critical new growth segment.  I'm sure it's going to be a fun ride!

Alan Lepofsky
Alan Lepofsky

Congrats Sameer. You're a great choice to help SAP move forward with their collaboration efforts.  Enjoy!

Marty Thompson
Marty Thompson

Congratulations, Sameer. I have gained from your thoughts, and your ability to drive a consistent, reasoned dialog, The show isn't over yet, I look forward to your contributions at SAP. I think a grand old Bordeaux is in order. 

Larry Hawes
Larry Hawes

Congratulations again, my friend! I am looking forward to watching you put your brilliant ideas into action at SAP and am thrilled that you have the chance to do so.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks Chris. Yes, we absolutely should. Will follow up via email once the dust settles.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks Rawn. I appreciate the kind words - means a lot coming from you.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks Bertrand. In so many ways, we're only getting started. Im really excited.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Oh thats great to know! I fully expect to be in Walldorf. I have part of my team there that I cant wait to come out and meet. Will let you know. Thanks for the wishes.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Drinks are definitely on me. Thanks bud.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks so much for the kind words. Ive always valued your perspective and so that means a lot.  And yes, I need to spruce up my german. I will come to you for tips before I head out on my first trip.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Very kind Gil. We really need to catch up. I would say distance has been the issue but that falls flat on its face.:)

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

It will be a fun ride. I have a great team to work with.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Appreciate it, Alan. Thanks for the kind post.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

A grand old Bordeaux is certainly in order. Thanks for the kind words :)

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

You're very kind Larry. Im really looking forward to getting started. 

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