Brian Duffy was appointed SAP’s EMEA North Regional President back in September 2017 and we recently had the opportunity to sit down with him to discuss how he plans to work with customers and the User Group going forward.
Both parties spoke candidly, and we took the opportunity to challenge Brian (and SAP) on a number of issues. Two things came through loud and clear. Firstly, Brian knows that SAP needs to listen to its customers better. Secondly, he highlighted that SAP’s internal culture needs to change so customers have a better experience of dealing with the organisation.
Clearly SAP needs to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Brian was keen to stress that he is committed to driving change:
- He wants to ensure that all customers are for life and their organisational size shouldn’t matter
- He wants SAP to be a ‘trusted advisor and partner’ and not simply a ‘vendor’
- He was shocked at the scale of customer account management changes internally – in the UK & Ireland 65% of customers had an account management change in 2017. Brian is committed to stopping the account movements
- He was clear that software audits should not be used to sell to customers, and anyone found doing this would be fired. To emphasise this further, Brian stated that SAP’s compliance teams have moved out of its commercial operation
- He has strong relationships with all his regional managing directors and he expects his team to build better relationships with customers and user groups
- He wants feedback from customers to make sure his team is delivering, and if not, he wants to know why
It is in regard to this last point that you, our members, have an important role to play. Over the coming months please be our eyes and ears on the ground and let us know about your experiences (both positive and negative!) of dealing with SAP. Brian has committed to meeting with us twice a year so this a great opportunity for members to raise any issues or concerns they have with SAP senior management.