David discussed IoT in the context of SAP customers, and also points out open problems that entrepreneurs can work on. Very interesting discussion on the nuances of the industry.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s introduce you to our audience. What is your role at SAP? Where do you come from? What kind of background and perspective do we have here?
David Parker: I’m a Global Senior Executive at SAP responsible for Big Data and Internet of Things go-to-market, which revolves around supporting customer interactions, deciding our partner ecosystem and strategy, and more importantly, helping customers transform and re-imagine their business to come up with new business models. In terms of my background, I’ve been in the industry for the better part of 35 plus years. I started out in financial services. In more recent times, I’ve been in other industries such as oil and gas, mining, utilities, pharma, retail, etc. As you know, we focus on over 24 different industries. My role is to work with executives, understand their current state, and advise them on what the future state looks like, both from an industry perspective and more importantly, how they can leverage their SAP footprint or non-SAP footprint to build out new business outcomes and decisions.
Sramana Mitra: What do you see with respect to IoT in the company?
David Parker: If you look at SAP, it has the world’s leading business application provider. It is 42 years in business. What we saw very early on, probably in the last 8 to 10 years, was that the business itself was transforming. Clearly, it was moving more from the reactive. It was moving more from being batched to being an element of real time. Real time can be categorized to mean different things to different people. In trading, it could be milliseconds.
What we do recognize is that people want information on demand. With that, SAP embarks upon the mission to transform ourselves into a cloud company and get ourselves ready for the 21st century in terms of digitalization. Again with the top companies that we work with across all lines of business and industries, those companies themselves are looking for new ways to generate new revenue models. Any CXO, CIO, CEO that you’ll talk to has three core missions in mind. One is to reduce cost. Second is to improve revenue and third is to maximize operating profit and profit margins. That’s the foundation of how SAP helps. As I said, we embarked upon a journey where we organically built our underlying platform.
We re-imagined our own business by virtue of looking at B2B and B2C with the acquisition of SuccessFactors, Ariba, CloudSight, and Cybase. To augment what we are already doing by way of organic innovation to deliver new business solutions to our customers and in turn, deliver a higher grade of products and services to their customers.