Video: How SAP is changing its approach to partner enablement

Orlando – On Monday I had an opportunity to sit down at SAP AG's (NYSE: SAP) user conference with Kevin Gilroy, SAP's North American channel chief. A channel veteran who held the channel chief's role at Hewlett-Packard and is a former president of Arrow ECS, Gilroy has his first 100 days under his belt at SAP after deciding to return from consulting to a full-time channel leadership role.

And he's been busy in those first 100 days with a company that may not have the deep channel culture of an HP, but is keen to build it in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) space.

“I've found a motivated executive team committed to building a powerful channel that can deliver double-digit growth to SAP, and a channel team that really wants to knock it out of the park,” said Gilroy.
He has already made a number of staffing moves. At the top, a new vice-president of channel operations starts next week and a vice-president of volume channels, Mike Coleman, is 75 days on the job and driving strong results, said Gilroy. As well, a senior director of project has come onboard to manage workstreams as the channel program is optimized.
“The senior management team is built-out now; it's a blend of new, fresh eyes with some solid, legacy SAP eyes,” said Gilroy. “We have a great balance on the team.”
SAP wants to expand it's channel, said Gilroy. It's delivering solid end user satisfaction and growth in the double-digits, but he said SAP's channel isn't broad enough today. He's committed to adding 1000 incremental partner sales reps with feet on the ground swinging bats for SAP, with back-end support from the company. It's an aggressive but achievable goal, and Gilroy said he's working on building SAP's capacity to support it.
He's also working on re-purposing SAP's marketing team and SME marketing spend more towards generating channel demand and sales leads, using analytics-based marketing to grow lead generation by five-to-six-times and feed those top quality, ready-to-buy “Glengaary, Glenross” leads right to the partners than can close them. 
Gilroy also wants to make it easier for partners to do business, and to get partners and executives talking-up SAP's expertise and power in the SME space, through marketing and media opportunities.
“We're going to keep what's really good about SAP channels, we're going to add a fresh new look to it, and we're really going to go.”
A major change coming will be to the way SAP handles partner enablement and on-boarding. Find out more in this video:


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
As an assistant editor at IT World Canada, Jeff Jedras contributes primarily to CDN and, covering the reseller channel and the small and medium-sized business space.

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