Ecosystem Leaders

Episode 153

November 23, 2022

#153 Michael Bruchey: Managing a Global Partner Organization

Michael Bruchey, Global Vice President of Partner Solutions and Partner Operations at SAP, joins Chip Rodgers on this Ecosystem Aces episode. Chip ...

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In this Ecosystem Aces Podcast episode, Chip Rodgers is joined by Michael Bruchey, Global Vice President of Partner Solutions and Partner Operations at SAP.

Michael and Chip discuss the current trend in Global Systems Integrators, including:

  • Leading
  • Vital Roles of Structure and Flexibility
  • Product Deployment with Partners  
  • Global Partner Enablement
  • Key Metrics in Measuring Global Ecosystem

Let’s get into the conversation

Current Trend of Global Systems Integrators

Michael Bruchey shared that the last year was exciting for SAP as they launched RISE, focusing on the importance of global systems integrators.

SAP includes partners from development to the marketing process of their products to support their go-to-market operations.

"We provide partners with advanced knowledge about what it is that we're doing so that once we go to market, they're familiar with the products so that they can talk to our joint customers about it as well as new customers and new prospects," Michael said.

SAP's primary goal is to work with global integrators to leverage the SAP platform and drive customer innovations. It's all about providing a full breadth of offerings with enterprise-wide solutions.

"It's really about helping our customers innovate their business. And our Global Systems Integrators are an important part of how we do that," Michael added.

Managing Global Partners

On his move from North America to the global market for SAP, Michael said he wanted to leverage his experience to give global solutions to the company.

After working with GSIs across the globe, he learned that all markets are different. It's essential to acknowledge that customers from North America differ from those in other regions.

While all organizations are structured and working differently, SAP has the best global professionals, making it easier to get the global endorsement they need to improve their regional units.

"Our role as a global organization is to make sure that we get that commitment globally, and then we cascade that commitment," Michael said.

Because there is no one-size-fits-all, the role of the global executive is to put a basic infrastructure in place to empower partner leaders.

For SAP, one of these infrastructures is WorkSpan's technology to put their data together to serve their constituents better.

Vital Roles of Structure and Flexibility

Michael agreed that structure and flexibility are fundamental to the partner ecosystem evolution as partnering is going through a significant shift today.

"What has become important for all of us is how our partners support us from go-to-market transactions. When partners go into an account, there's a level of endorsement and support there," Michael said.

Partner managers have to ensure that when an account executive from their company gets together with a representative from the partner company, they should get the support and endorsement they need for joint go-to-market.

Product Deployment with Partners–Less on the Revenue, More on the Support

With the age of the cloud, partnering is moving far from a transaction-based model. In the old model, transactions end when the deals are closed, but now there is adoption, selling, and, most importantly, deployment and renewals.

The deployment of solutions is even more important than sales today–revenue becomes less critical. SAP ensures that partners are represented in most of their deals.

Partnerships now cover the entire sales process, so they must be involved at the earliest possible time. Early involvement yields a high attach rate from customers as they can take advantage of solutions more rapidly.

While revenue used to be a key indicator in measuring partner investment, it's the support of the partners from sales all through the customer lifecycle through the renewals that are really critical.

Multiple partners may be deploying different phases of the solution or even deploying other solutions altogether. Despite these things, it all depends on what the customer will get.

"Ultimately, all of that needs to come together, and the customer needs to be ecstatic about the value they're getting," Michael said.

Global Partner Enablement

The biggest challenge for tech ecosystems is to gain competency with partners. Fortunately, SAP's partners are willing to go beyond what is expected to be well-equipped and ready to go.

"Part of the beauty of being a part of an organization like SAP is our partners are chomping at the bit to go build competency. That's a constant investment they're making to ensure they're in the best position possible," Michael shared.

SAP matches the drive of its partners by providing programs that will ensure their partners have the necessary knowledge for their solutions.

SAP's global ecosystem model proves that smaller software companies should invest in relationships with big tech firms so they can become part of an overall solution and next time get baked into a customer solution.

Key Metrics in Measuring Global Ecosystem

Michael shared that SAP tracks and measures various business levels–regional, global, and more. They have established specific revenue targets to be supported by their partners.

However, Michael said that revenue is just an indicator. "We're not gonna capture every single deal that a partner is involved in, but it helps us understand how our partners are supporting us," Michael added.

SAP also looks at software deployment, development of solutions, quality of implementations, and other performance metrics as their critical indicators for measuring partnership.

"It's not just about the revenue being impacted, but how much is getting deployed, how much quality, and even customer success stories," Michael said.

Wrapping Up

With Michael's 15 years of experience with SAP and 40 years in the industry, there is no wonder that he has groundbreaking insights about GSIs and the global ecosystem.

In transitioning to a global scale, Michael believes it's always imperative that companies realize how vital their partners are for their business. This is the metric of success–the level of commitment and inclusion of your partners.

To know more about Michael Bruchey and his work in SAP’s partner ecosystem, you can follow him on LinkedIn.

Links & Resources

· Learn more about how WorkSpan helps customers accelerate their ecosystem flywheel through Co-selling, Co-innovating, Co-investing, and Co-marketing.

· Subscribe to the Ecosystem Aces Podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcast.

· Join the WorkSpan Community to engage with other partner ecosystem leaders on best practices, news, events, jobs, and other tips to advance your career in partnering.

· Find insightful articles on how to lead and get the most out of your partner ecosystem on the WorkSpan blog.

· Download the Best Practices Guide for Ecosystem Business Management

· Download the Ultimate Guide for Partner Incentives and Market Development Funds

· To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about modern partnering, he can be reached on Twitter, LinkedIn, or send Chip an email at:

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