SAP CTO Juergen Mueller and COO Christian Klein spoke with Cloud Wars Live
SAP CTO Juergen Mueller and COO Christian Klein spoke with Cloud Wars Live

SAP in the Cloud: CTO Juergen Mueller and COO Christian Klein Lay Out Strategy

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With Q1 cloud-revenue growth of 41%, SAP says it’s fully on track to be generating half of its total revenue from the cloud by 2023.

To gain some deeper understanding of SAP’s cloud strategy as part of our Cloud Wars Top 10 Executive Insights series, I spoke with SAP CTO Juergen Mueller and COO Christian Klein at SAP’s recent Sapphire event. SAP ranks at #4 on the Cloud Wars Top 10.

Mueller and I discussed SAP’s integration plans for Qualtrics as well as its almost-complete efforts to move all of its applications to a common data model around HANA.

Klein talked about what it’s like to be the first user of all of SAP’s applications and the company’s efforts to turn the promise of the intelligent enterprise into reality for customers across the globe.

You can watch or listen to the complete episode here as part of our “Executive Insights” series exploring the cloud strategies of each of the vendors on the Cloud Wars Top 10 list.

Here are a few of the most-compelling highlights from the conversations with Mueller and Klein.

CTO Juergen Mueller on Integration of Qualtrics Technology with SAP’s.

“The prefabricated applications that Qualtrics already has makes it very easy to bring those together. From a technology perspective, in general it’s very easy to integrate Qualtrics because they have an API-first strategy anyway. And also we launched our SAP Cloud Service yesterday and they are together with the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, where we introduced the concept of spaces. So you can bring in and pull in operational data into the space and you also can pull in experience data into a space. Then you can have an analytical layer on top and this is how this comes together. But in general integration of Qualtrics is very simple.”

CTO Mueller on a Single Data Model Aligned with Modern Customer Processes.

“We took a bit of a different approach: first, we defined all the end-to-end processes, so the four mega processes like ‘Lead to Cash’ and ‘Source to Pay’ toward ‘Work for us Management’ and ‘Design to Operate’ they touch, I don’t know, 80+ percent of all portfolio and what customers need from us. And there we verified and spec’d out the processes, what needs to happen and also I asked my teams and the teams working on integration what needed to happen in order to make that work even faster. We make good progress, but how can we be even faster?

“And then the topic of master data came up very often. So, how can we come to a fully aligned common data model? Again that’s one of the promises that SAP has: a common data model tied to integrated end-to-end processes. That is something we are working on and we are very excited about that.”

COO Christian Klein on SAP’s Ability to Optimize Processes for Great Customer Experiences.

“What customers expect is not only that they buy a product today but also that they get right away the information about the order, the invoice, and probably next-day delivery. We have to connect the pieces of an enterprise. This is an asset of SAP—when you look at our software portfolio, this covers actually the whole value chain of an enterprise. This why it’s so key for us at SAP to get the equation right, so that we can really tie business processes together across the enterprise.”

COO Klein on Transformation, AI, and Analytics.

“When I talk to customers these days, almost all industries are undergoing a huge transformation. So the first thing what they want to know is, ‘How can SAP help me to transform? How can I adapt to this new business model that my customers are expecting for my company?’ The second one is the topic of artificial intelligence—that’s truly game-changing. It’s game-changing in the way we can automate certain processes in a completely different way, it’s game-changing in a way that we can infuse intelligence in certain functions to enable people to do their job better and faster than before.

“The third topic and this is real-time data and analytics because every company needs to make thousands of decisions every day and at the end they want to know, ‘How can I make better decisions? How can you give me more transparency? What about predictive models? How can I do integrated business planning?’ These are the three most important topics these days.”

COO Klein on How Qualtrics Is a Catalyst for Improving Real-Time Performance.

“In the cloud world, we have to react faster. What we are now doing is we are infusing Qualtrics into all our products so that the customers can give us real-time feedback. But that’s not enough because when you have this experience data, now I have to connect it to the operations, to the operational data inside SAP. When there is feedback about features and functions, send it to product management and they should also then work on an action plan and go back to the customer and say, ‘Here’s the roadmap, this issue will be fixed by this date.’ ”

To catch the full interviews with Mueller and Klein, you can watch the video version or stream the audio here.


Disclosure: at the time of this writing, SAP was a client of Evans Strategic Communications LLC.


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