In 1972, five entrepreneurs in Germany had a vision for the business potential of technology. Starting with one customer and a handful of employees, SAP setout on a path that would not only transform the world of information technology, but also forever alter the way companies do business. Now 46 years and more than413,000 customers stronger, more than ever, SAP is fueled by the pioneering spirit that inspired its founders to continually transform the IT industry.
How SAP drives joint sales with the best Ecosystem Cloud
SAP needed to scale and streamline its global strategic partnerships, stat. But how? By implementing the only platform that could make it all happen: an Ecosystem Cloud. Let’s back up for a moment. In 2018,SAP began revamping how it went to market with its Global Strategic Service Partners (GSSPs). The goal: Leverage the experience and creativity of its services partners to innovate new joint solutions on the SAP Leonardo platform and co-sell those solutions to their joint customers. But, without automation, this would be a complex, labor-intensive process. They needed a cross-company, collaborative digital platform to make it come to life at scale.
To operationalize its joint solutions and sales pursuits, SAP needed to:
- Enable secure cross-company business processes
- Enable secure cross-company business processes
- Facilitate deep field-to-field engagement across SAP, its partners, and partner-to-partner
A tall order? It looked that way at first, yet SAP successfully transitioned to an Ecosystem Cloud and has the results to prove it: All invited partners joined the program, and partner deal revenue grew 154 percent year-over-year. And that’s just the beginning.
What SAP needed from its Ecosystem Cloud deployment
SAP’s network of GSSPs required a shared system of record—a place for partners to work together, capturing activity without having to dig through tons of spreadsheets and emails to figure out what happened. SAP needed to track deal size, stages, participants, key dates, tasks, comments, and more for each sales deal. It found what it was looking for with WorkSpan Ecosystem Cloud.
Not only does SAP get a consistent and scalable system to drive joint revenue with its GSSP partners—it turbocharges its creativity and speed to market with joint solutions and shared innovation processes. Two heads are better than one, but why stop at just two? SAP’s refreshed partner network harnesses the combined power of many partners on a common platform.
“WorkSpan is our system of record for SAP’s collaboration with our partners,”
Innovative features like shared/private fields, cross-company business flows and approvals, and pre-integration into SAP’s and their partner’s CRMs ensure a smooth transformation of the partner ecosystem.
How the WorkSpan initiative took shape
SAP’s journey achieved liftoff with a pilot, onboarding joint SAP/partner sales plans and opportunities for North America with Capgemini, along with all joint solutions with partners for the SAP Leonardo platform on WorkSpan. After early success, the teams in EMEA North (France plus the U.K. and Ireland) also wanted to come onboard.
GSSP partners gained instant advantages from piloting the Ecosystem Cloud. Nominating joint accounts, collaborating on joint account plans in the cloud, and then matching to opportunities in SAP’s CRM? Yes, yes and yes. The initiative progressed to a post-pilot after six months, receiving the go-ahead from the SAP business leaders based on proven business results and very positive feedback from the pilot teams at SAP and with partners.
“I don’t think any of us are challenged by the fact that the ecosystem is a large part of how we’re selling today,” Homan added. “It’s by nature what our customers are asking us to do.”
SAP’s digital transformation, by the digits
The initiative took SAP’s joint solutions into overdrive. WorkSpan-supported processes ran six times faster than previous workflows. SAP’s partners nominated more than 150 joint solutions using SAP Leonardo, for which SAP now has a portfolio view with joint pipeline and revenue tracking enabled. The time from initial ideation of joint SAP/partner solutions to the prepare-to-build phase, once six months, accelerated to only four weeks. This allowed SAP teams to meet critical deadlines for SAPPHIRE NOW, the company’s blockbuster user and partner conference.
That’s just the start. The Ecosystem Cloud enables continuous improvements, but let’s count up the wins so far:
Over 75 deals were sourced from Capgemini joint pursuits, with revenue increasing $12.1 million—or 154 percent—year-over-year. Another way to look at it: Capgemini reported that the new joint sales setup knocked 12 full days off their average sales cycle. That means more time for other projects and pursuits that support growth.
The joint sales increase is faster than overall SAP revenue expansion. It should continue on its rapid pace with strong partner adoption fueled by the visibility, transparency, and accountability from WorkSpan.
WorkSpan has the seal of approval from SAP and its partners as the best Ecosystem Cloud to drive joint sales.