Knowing The Value of Tech Driven Business Transformation: ‘The SAP Way’
In an exclusive interaction between Mr Rajeev Singh, Vice President & Head of Midmarket, SAP Indian Subcontinent and Dr. Faiz Askari, Founder and Editor of SMEStreet. In the conversation, while talking about a few important developments that have happened in the IT world, Rajeev mentioned, "In last few years, SMEs have understood the potential of technology and cloud is making it affordable, while SAP is known for trust and reliability."
Technology is an integral part of any business’s growth strategy. For every SME organization, In the post covid era, it is important to understand this statement well. In our bid to help our SME audience understand the value of contemporary digital transformation, we wish to bring the excerpts of the exclusive interaction between Mr Rajeev Singh, Vice President & Head of Midmarket, SAP Indian Subcontinent and Dr. Faiz Askari, Founder and Editor of SMEStreet. In the conversation, while talking about a few important developments that have happened in the IT world, Rajeev mentioned, “In last few years, SMEs have understood the potential of technology and cloud is making it affordable, while SAP is known for trust and reliability.”
Here are the edited excerpts:
Faiz Askari: Talking about the Indian SME market, there is a perception of SAP being an expensive affair. How do you deal with such perception while interacting with cost-sensitive SME customers?
Rajeev Singh: Yes, there is a perception related to cost sensitivity among SMEs. But the scenarios are changing and more importance is been given to the value that technology is bringing to the table. Organizations are striving hard to become big. But some of the organizations have to move up the ladder and have to become really big, technology will play a key role. And some of the key trends that we are seeing is where technology can really help them earn more money, become bigger or become more efficient and be cost efficient.
Well, this parameter if at all it exists, needed to be relooked. At times we believe that price is the only thing. As myth and a lot of business promoters from SME segment come and meet me and the first discussion kick starts with ‘how much it costs’.
Actually speaking, when it comes to technology implementation for any business, it is not a cost, it is an investment. As an example, for organizations who chose to implement ERP to become profitable, their overall trust level on their respective customers also increases. So it is ultimately about the transformation of the business. Employee efficiencies are optimised, profitability gets positively affected and on top of it, overall business credibility gets a positive hit as the implementing organization can gain credibility among their respective markets by showcasing their systems and their business operations efficiency. All of this comes with the implementation of smart technologies for business processes.
Faiz Askari: What is your response to an age-old question of ‘Return on Investment’?
Rajeev Singh: On, the ‘return on investment’ aspect sometimes we handle certain conversations in which customers ask for the realization period of the investments in tech solutions.
Today, as we are speaking, with SAP we are saying that possibly your realization can happen in 3rd month or fourth month. That is possible because we are talking about the cloud nature. For example, the implementation period has been reduced significantly and today we can start the action in 6 to 8 weeks. Having a cloud nature the value realization of the investments can start from the shortest possible time. This attraction excites SMEs the most. However, in last few years, SMEs have understood the potential of technology and cloud is making it affordable, while SAP is known for trust and reliability.
Faiz Askari: Based on your experience, how do you manage those initial conversations with SMEs, in which the customer prospects are less Tech savvy or they have no tech knowledge at all?
Rajeev Singh: I think we believe that promoters and CFOs don’t need to really know about technology. That’s why we do not talk about what core technology on which our system is built on. We discuss with the respective CFO what is the problem the business is acing or his organization is facing and once the problem is identified, we try to present a solution which can not just solve their problem but also bring efficiencies into business.
Sometimes, CEO will say that I am working in one particular customer set. You know, can I, what do I need to do to become more competitive in a different segment? Whether it’s cost etc. And then we or partners work with them to understand business problems and then we try and solve them through technology.
But, overall, understanding level of technology among business owners and CFOs is improvising and advancing very rapidly. Be it peer pressure or overall knowledge availability, this factor is evolving fast.
Faiz Askari: With growing incidents of cybercrimes and data thefts, cybersecurity has suddenly become top priority for businesses. How do you look at the growing demand of resilience and security in cloud solutions?
Rajeev Singh: Cloud security is of paramount importance right. SAP’s entire process is in place to make it extremely robust from of cybersecurity. We have strong commitment towards ensuring security of the business environments for which we implement technologies.
We run various hackathons and while developing our products, to understand to make sure that the security’s and budget so far, we haven’t seen any major cyber attack on SAP systems.