Welcome to the Cloud Wars Minute — your daily news and commentary show, hosted by Cloud Wars Founder Bob Evans. Each episode provides insights and perspectives around the “reimagination machine” that is the Cloud.
This episode is sponsored by Acceleration Economy’s Generative AI Digital Summit. View the event, which features practitioner and platform insights on how solutions such as ChatGPT will impact the future of work, customer experience, data strategy, cybersecurity, and more, by registering for your free on-demand pass.
In this Cloud Wars Minute, Bob Evans is joined by SAP’s Chief Strategy Officer Sebastian Steinhaeuser while the two attend SAP’s annual Sapphire event. Bob and Sebastian discuss key takeaways from the event, including end-to-end solutions, culture and mindset, and a strong focus on customers.
00:10 — Bob introduces Sebastian and notes that he wants to “pick the brains of the guy who’s leading the strategy of SAP.”
00:35 — Sebastian explains that customers have relayed to him that they’re really starting to see the “new SAP” and the company’s “new mindset” that focuses on solving customers’ most difficult challenges. “That’s the number one priority,” he adds, “generating value for our customers.”
01:11 — Bob adds that SAP has developed a culture and mindset in which internal innovation correlates with what customers want and need. “Yeah, absolutely…there’s an absolute laser focus on delivering customer value,” adds Sebastian.
01:53 — Sebastian describes the changes that SAP has made on the go-to-market side and the technology side, too. SAP’s technology portfolio has been deeply integrated into its platform and ERP system in order to deliver the greatest value to customers. He summarizes the new mindset of SAP as “focusing on the customer, and then applying our technology, our portfolio, our applications, to the purpose of solving their biggest needs.”
02:54 — Bob asks Sebastian if it is a fair assessment to suggest that SAP has shifted from being a product company to a service company. “Absolutely,” responds Sebastian. “What I want to do is provide them end-to-end solutions to solve end-to-end business process challenges.”
03:57 — Bob notes that the emphasis on “end-to-end solutions” is critical in a time when businesses must adapt at the same pace as their customers. Sebastian agrees, and adds that customers don’t necessarily care about the technology itself, but how it can be applied within the context of their business.
04:40 — Discussing Generative AI, Steinhaeuser notes that customers are more concerned about applying the technology itself to be more productive and solve problems, than they are about the underlying technology. And that’s SAP’s focus in working with partners including Microsoft and OpenAI.