April marks my one-year anniversary at SAP.
It’s been an incredible ride to say the least. I’m a lucky guy – I came to SAP to help build out its products and go-to-market in the social and collaborative software category. But what I really I got was a chance to get in on the ground floor of a unique opportunity to participate in shaping SAPs place in the larger software category with SAP Cloud.
Our mantra has always been clear that social is not a destination but a critical enabler to established performance KPIs and that’s what driven our product strategy and our value proposition to customers. We started not with social but with the state of our customers businesses – both challenges and opportunities to drive revenue, lower cost and mitigate risk. And then identified the needed dance between data, business process, content and people. And executed like mad against that strategy culminating in a re-launch in last year.
Thanks to the efforts of an incredible cross-functional team we doubled our growth in 2012. The sheer tenacity and close partnership between SAPs amazing cloud and on premise application development teams has been something to write home about. I was warned numerous times about how impractical cross-functional collaboration can be. But the lines between transactions, process and collaboration have been blurred forever and the customer demands a default process + social experience, now. And the teams made it happen.
I’ve always been straight forward with respect to my opinion about the various strands of “social business”, here. But the role of social and collaborative constructs to truly accelerate performance in the enterprise has never been more critical. I’ve covered this on this blog for 4 years now and in my past roles but after working closely with customers and with numerous internal industry and products groups at SAP, you truly get an appreciation for the role that systems of record play every day but also the gaps that remain in day to day work for your customers, your employees and your partners.
The power of connected networks, the availability of business and process context in the cloud or on premise or both is extremely powerful. This is why I was attracted to a company rooted in business process. As an industry, we’re just starting to understand how to leverage this. SAP has given me the opportunity to go really deep on this subject – understanding how for instance, thousands of contingent retail employees, or floor staff at casinos need to be on boarded and enabled at scale, or the costs of ramping up sales teams, the power of customer networks thanks to SAP SCN community efforts, or how the white spaces in tight fraud management processes or in transportation and logistics can expose unmitigated risk. And against that backdrop, where social collaboration can move the needle and where it can’t and with cloud economics in mind. I could go on and on.
I’m really privileged to be able to do what I do and especially at a time when the re-wiring of enterprise software to focus on getting work done (as opposed to a list of features) is only now underway.
A big thanks to our team and the teams we work with across SAP, every day.
Phase 1: Check.