SAPs services business is not well known

Written by P P Thimmaya | Updated: May 12 2014, 10:42am hrs
SAP, the German multinational software giant is an established name for its enterprise class technology solutions, but a lesser known fact about them is their services segment which employs around 15,000 people. SAP services as a business segment of the company is deeply engaged in creating new markets and optimising the value of their software with the customers. Scott Russell, chief operating officer, SAP Asia Pacific Japan, said that the services business is serving as the backbone for the companys aggressive expansion into the cloud market along with its traditional software offerings, in an interview with PP Thimmaya. Edited excerpts.

How would you describe SAPs services business

Clearly SAPs business is about providing innovation and solutions to help customers run their business. The services part is not well known as we would like it to be, but at the very core we have two primary objectives. First it is helping SAP make market. SAP is constantly innovating, but we also need to help customers adopt it which is about making the market. We have a robust and strong healthy consulting business with close relationship with our labs. Our success also depends on strong collaboration with our partners. The second objective is to drive quality which is to deliver the outcome of high value. We have aggressively grown in our portfolio and have a range of offerings. We work from the biggest companies to small and medium enterprises. We are part of the SAP that is accountable for the value that is delivered.

Does the market see SAP as a solution company or services entity

In SAP, we have embraced a culture of one face to the customers which represents all the things we can offer. We have a strong collaborative culture and want to be accountable for the outcome as well. Our partners are integral to us and it is not a competitive scenario. One face to the customer and simplicity in our approach is the cornerstone of our strategy.

How is your services business

being accepted in India

Customers universally like when SAP is accountable and stands behind the outcome. They know that they are buying into a relationship and that is the big role we play. We also have a very good of working with our partners and their IT departments. We want to be closely associated with the customers and be proactive in taking a significant role.

What is the role of analytics in SAPs services portfolio

The trend of big data has witnessed volume growing up exponentially. The ability to analyse structured and unstructured data in a fast and efficient way is the key objective of any company. There is a lot of work around predictive analysis to build explicit solutions. We build a lot of analytical application for business solutions and use technique such as design thinking. This is about building solutions in a non-traditional way. Analytics will become a big area for us.

How is the cloud strategy playing out for SAP

SAP has been a cloud company since 2007 having aggressively grown our cloud portfolio through organic route and acquisitions. SAP runs both private and public cloud to give our customers a choice to run in their own IT environments. The services business is helping the customers build their own roadmap. The market is driving a lot of business in particular with the private cloud. We are allowing our customers to start small and build bigger. The demand is absolutely there.

How is the demand for cloud technologies in India

We see buoyant demand trends in nearly all the industries. There are discussions about moving aggressively to the cloud. We have seen that demand is coming strong in the last six to eight months. Though, it begins about cost efficiencies but later it becomes an enabler of growth. The services business is about helping them move to the cloud.

How different is it for you when dealing with cloud technologies and non-cloud solutions

As services business of SAP, our primary drive is get value of software for the customers. However, both these segments are different. In a product it is often the case of implementation services and historically it takes longer to implement when compared with cloud. Though the common theme is about gaining a valuable solution.

How do you see the adoption of cloud in India

If it is measured by activity it is very high. There is a lot of tech savviness among corporations in India. There is a lot of engagement with customers who are asking us about our cloud strategy and what could be the possible road map. In the cloud business, we are expecting a triple digit growth.

In terms of adoption there is no dominant industry which is everything from government to retail, financial services, telecommunication. The implementation is cutting across areas such as HR, CRM e-procurement etc. Indian customers not only demand output but also the outcome.