SAP Extends Maximum Attention to More of its Services and Support Customers

SAP is known for its enterprise software solutions, but the company's focus on professional services as of late is allowing SAP to offer more of what customers need from a single source. TEC Principal Analyst P.J. Jakovljevic details SAP Services' broad range of offerings and levels of services, including the latest developments with SAP MaxAttention, SAP's RDS, BTS, and SAP Custom Development.

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SAP’s main raison d’etre is to sell enterprise software, but the software company’s secondary focus is on providing professional services. One simple reason for this is that even with 15,000 professional services resources the software giant cannot possibly cater to the needs of all of its nearly 200,000 customers spanning the globe and over 20 industries. There are indications that SAP’s software license revenue growth far exceeds its services revenue growth. Thus, a vast global system integrator (SI) and consulting partner ecosystem has been delivering over 85 percent of SAP’s professional services needs and filling that demand gap.

However, SAP’s own professional services are often needed. For instance, many companies demand that their software vendors be trusted advisors as well as software providers. Enterprises expect leading software providers to provide a bridge between the strategic management consulting and available IT landscapes that support an outlined strategic direction. As for SAP, customers and SI partners can easily be overwhelmed by a slew of new products and solutions coming both from SAP in-house development and the company’s ongoing acquisitions. In addition, in some sectors, such as banking, enterprises primarily prefer servicesled sales (e.g., particular, if not even peculiar, functionality inquiries), much more than sales based on traditional feature/function software evaluations (with architectural discussions at most). Yet, the IT consumerization trend is causing the expectation of individual (rather than mass) professional services experiences as well. Other new customer expectations for software vendors include co-innovation, reduction of total cost of implementation (TCI), total cost of ownership (TCO) and complexity, consistent quality and experience, and proactive advice. In other words, a consumer-driven software world needs ever-more experience-focused professional services. 

SAP Services vs. Traditional SIs

SAP Services does not necessarily want to be another SI; the company would rather function as provider of the key to unlocking the power of a vast number of SAP software solutions. Partners are looking to SAP to deliver tangible business value for end customers, rather than just products. SAP Services’ strategic purposes include reducing the services to software ratio; enabling software growth and consumption; supporting fast growth markets and industries and ecosystem adoption; and delivering globally with consistent quality.

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