​Cloud partners key as SAP strengthens Aussie channel team

​Cloud partners key as SAP strengthens Aussie channel team

Tech giant targets cloud partners with new channel recruit.

SAP has appointed Sam Henderson as Channel Director of Global Channels and General Business across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), as the tech giant chases cloud-focused partners on both sides of the Tasman.

ARN can confirm that Henderson will be responsible for leading a team of Partner Business Managers, who support existing and new SAP partners to build profitable cloud businesses.

As well as driving growth in the small and midsize business segment, Henderson is also tasked with leading strategy for the vendor’s channel expansion into new market sectors and partner recruitment, especially through its recent distribution deal with NEXTGEN in Australia.

“Sam’s appointment is part of SAP’s strategy to extend the reach of our channel business in A/NZ,” a spokesperson for SAP told ARN.

Since joining the vendor in 2014, Henderson has helped SAP expand its channel business across the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region, through a range of partner management roles.

Prior to joining SAP, Henderson held management and director roles at Westcon-Comstor, spanning strategic alliances and business development across Australia and New Zealand, and at a regional level.

“His experience will be invaluable as our local programs, designed to help SAP partners accelerate cloud sales and profits (such as through the partnership with NEXTGEN and the PartnerEdge Cloud Choice program), gather momentum,” a spokesperson for SAP told ARN.

Sam Henderson - Channel Director of Global Channels and General Business A/NZ, SAP
Sam Henderson - Channel Director of Global Channels and General Business A/NZ, SAP

As SAP moves closer to partners in pursuit of further growth, Henderson will also oversee the development of the PartnerEdge Cloud Choice program, alongside leveraging the vendor’s distribution deal with NEXTGEN, in a move designed to fuel the channel’s capacity to grow in the cloud.

As reported by ARN, terms of the distribution deal will see the software vendor offer a two-tier channel model whereby NEXTGEN will establish a dedicated cloud channel for the SAP Cloud portfolio in Australia, including SAP Business ByDesign, SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP SuccessFactors.

In addition, the distributor will support existing SAP partners undergoing a transition to the cloud, focusing specifically on the small and midsize businesses segments.

Henderson joins SAP amidst a shift in partner priorities for the tech giant, as outlined by the hiring of Sumal Karu as General Manager of Channels and General Business in February 2016.

During this period, the vendor has edged further towards the channel at a global level, as it bids to motivate its existing 15,000 partners to sell more cloud services.

“Recognising the huge opportunities for our partners in the cloud, SAP is 100 per cent committed to helping them realise the opportunities available,” a spokesperson for SAP told ARN.

Sumal Karu - General Manager of Channels and General Business A/NZ, SAP
Sumal Karu - General Manager of Channels and General Business A/NZ, SAP

“The initiatives launched over the last 12 months are designed to make this reality.

"In particular, we’ve seen strong adoption of our PartnerEdge Cloud Choice program, which allows partners to realise a steady cloud revenue stream that’s locked in for the life of the customer and partner relationship, while our partnership with NEXTGEN will help partners develop new, thriving cloud businesses.

“Our partners are also becoming some of the first businesses in APJ to adopt our technologies for their own-use, before taking the products to market and sharing learnings to enable simple implementation for customers.”

Locally, Plaut IT is developing an SAP S/4HANA Cloud practice, having gone live with the suite itself in February.

As a certified partner, the Sydney-based company provides end-to-end cloud and on premise solutions, with services covering the full range of the SAP product suite.

In addition, Acclimation is another Australian partner running ERP in the cloud, with SAP Business ByDesign.

Headquartered in Melbourne, the consulting firm specialises in SAP cloud migration, alongside mobility, enterprise resource management and analytics capabilities.

“SAP sees a massive opportunity across Australia and New Zealand for cloud in the mid-market and SME space,” an SAP spokesperson stated.

“Through providing the services and programs our partners need to build and maintain profitable cloud businesses, we’re empowering them to quickly and easily take to market our SAP Cloud portfolio, in order to capitalise on the opportunities available.

“To grow our channel business our focus is partners with the proven success and desire to prosper in the cloud. This is aligned to SAP’s 100 per cent commitment to a cloud-only, indirect sales model in General Business.”

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