With the focus on extending the footprint of its Hana offering on the continent and its acquisition of software services company Ariba, global business software solutions developer SAP is focusing on knowledge transfer and the role of user groups to reinforce channels of communication for customers.
Presenting on the second day of the SAP Saphila 2012 User Group conference, Yasmin Awad, Senior Vice President, Global User Groups Organisation, SAP AG, stressed the relevance of a web platform for user groups and customers.
“The idea is to make information more accessible as our product portfolio expands. Africa is well represented on the global user group via the Africa User Group and is a strategic area for SAP,” Awad said.
The company acknowledged that general customer feedback confirmed difficulty in sourcing available information – and hence the focus on content, updates and access to channels via what the company describes as its customer connection.
“The customer engagement network can be used extensively for new releases,” said Awad.
Recently SAP said in its Q3 earnings announcement that the company had raised to $4.3 billion its 2012 software revenue outlook to reflect gains from the Ariba acquisition.
SAP’s vision for the cloud is to enable customers reach their business objectives and help them manage their most important assets namely: people, money, customers and suppliers and Ariba has been pivotal in helping drive SAP’s cloud strategy.
This strategy clearly takes into consideration the following major business trends as identified by global research firm, Gartner: consumerisation of IT, big data, mobility, social, new business models, cost efficiency, simplification and investment security.
SAP wants to reach 1 billion people through cloud solutions by 2015 and become the fastest growing database company globally.
By joining forces with Ariba, SAP will create the premier business network to connect businesses and their systems to those of their trading partners and enable new processes only possible in a digital environment. SAP plans to enable its more than 197,000 customers to easily connect to the Ariba business network through pre-built integration points.
Chris Tredger, Online Editor