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“Ultimately, I think the impact is going to be positive.”

Andrew Kisslo, Head of Global Partner Marketing, shares his views on Artificial Intelligence and how partners can use it to enhance their digital marketing capabilities. 

What impact do you think AI will have? 

Artificial intelligence, including generative AI, marks a very large paradigm shift on how all computer systems are going to learn from data, solve complex problems, and help boost employee productivity and creativity within any enterprise. In a recent McKinsey study of almost 2,000 people in large enterprises, one-third of them confirmed, when asked, that their organisations were already using generative AI in at least one function area. So, the adoption of AI by customers is very real. 

Partners need to think about how their own AI services, or how the capabilities of what SAP is going to offer, can capture a lot of this early demand and help customers think through how they might approach it. We recently announced Joule as our gen AI co-pilot and it’ll be embedded in a lot of SAP’s solutions, from HR to finance, supply chain to procurement. For example, SAP SuccessFactors now has the capability to use AI to create a skills portfolio for each employee in the workforce to infer skills so companies can create more dynamic teams. Partners can start using SAP BTP to build AI-empowered solutions or become more conversant in the 100-plus solutions available today in the SAP store that are AI-enabled. Then they can start advising their customers on how they can use AI today.

Ultimately, I think the impact is going to be positive for partners who embrace this wave, something where their expertise may be needed more than before. The negative impact will be for partners who are not confident or are too slow to understand how AI is going to impact the end-customer which could be seen by customers as slow to adapt or simply less relevant for their needs.” 

What conversations should partners be having with their customers about AI?

“I think it’s ok to ask a customer whether they’re thinking about AI, and be curious about their needs which creates a sense of trust, but it all begins with confidence in being able to have that conversation. That’s why, in the new year, we’re going to be delivering support to partners to help them do just that. I don’t think partners should feel afraid to ask a customer what they’re thinking about it, and I think if that partner has the capability today, they should begin to explore with their customers where AI can impact their business. If the partner doesn’t have those end services, then they should feel confident that SAP’s approach to Business AI can support each customer's need. 

At the end of the day, no one understands business processes at such a deep level as SAP partners do, that’s why it’s unparalleled to any other vendor ecosystem. There are many different platform approaches to AI, but our partners have a unique advantage to customer use AI to unlock even more value from the core IP that lives within every business process.” 

How will AI enhance the way partners market themselves to customers and prospects?

“I think AI is such a large opportunity for SAP partners. Our ecosystem is built on decades-worth of experience advising companies across every industry, at a level of depth into how companies operate. Partners should lean on their heritage of knowing customer environments so deeply that they are likely the best to help them think through the scenarios where AI could be used to drive efficiency or growth. AI will ultimately be only as good as the use case is pointed towards. As with every technology decision, customers will want to know where AI can help them grow top-line.

revenue or drive efficiency to the bottom line. They will also want to know how AI creates more competitive advantage or helps them catch the competition in the shortest time possible.”
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