On-going technological disruption has transformed companies’ expectations of their technology partners. Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, tells us more.
The new currency in technology partnership is lifetime value: how much value a partner can provide to an organisation on an on-going basis over long periods of time.
Technology partners can no longer just sell products or solutions; organisations need to ensure they can extract the maximum amount of value from every technology investment while enjoying the support and insight of knowledgeable partners who can help them navigate growing complexity.
The way businesses make decisions over their IT procurement processes has also shifted. Companies typically only start engaging potential partners and vendors when they are 70% through their internal decision-making processes. This is forcing channel partners to rethink their business models by reskilling staff, refocusing the company’s vision and re-engineering back-office and customer-facing processes to prioritise the customer experience.
The Africa innovation opportunity
In Africa, public and private sector leaders across the continent are realising their ambitions through the innovative use of technology. From Cape Town to Kinshasa and Lagos to Nairobi, African organisations are using technology to unlock the continent’s immense potential.
Africa offers an immense opportunity to companies that can leverage technology to deliver innovative solutions that solve real business problems, enhances the customer experience and enables organisations to meet modern business challenges with agility.
McKinsey predicts that business spending on the continent will grow by 3.3% annually to 2025, with total consumption in the region hitting US$4-trillion that same year.
Within this dynamic, a new type of partner organisation is emerging. These partners develop extensive industry-specific expertise, take deep-dives into specific customer pain points and opportunities, and partner with larger technology vendors to co-develop innovative packaged solutions. This enables them to solidify their value proposition for highly-specific audiences, which results in an overall positive experience for the end-customer.
That is why the launch of Africa’s first SAP Experience Center in Johannesburg is such an exciting development for customers and partners across the continent.
By creating a physical hub for highly relevant and tailored discussions, demos and workshops around specific innovation challenges and opportunities, it will accelerate Digital Transformation across the continent and help organisations unlock intelligent enterprise capabilities that will improve their ability to solve key business challenges and thrive in the 21st century.
Showcasing experience economy success
The Experience Center is a showcase for how African organisations of all sizes will rise to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. By engaging in a richly interactive physical innovation space, African organisations can accelerate their business transformation efforts in an immersive setting that makes their digital ambitions a reality.
We welcome all our partners and customers to use the center as a space for unbridled innovation as we enter a new decade of challenge and opportunity.
The opening of the Experience Center heralds a new era for innovation in the African SAP ecosystem. Africa has a rich heritage of innovation. Our customers are already doing amazing things with technology, bringing our vision to life by helping the world run better and improving people’s lives. Previously, our customers had to travel abroad to visit SAP Executive Briefing Centers or Design Thinking Universities, but now we can offer all of this and more in one space, and on home soil.