SAP partners make a huge section of the SAP services market. The number of accredited partners is now over 24,000 and the associated revenue of partners offering SAP services is much larger than that of SAP themselves.
SAP consultants will therefore want to familiarize themselves with the structure of the wider SAP ecosystem: who are the system integrators with the largest market share, and how the relationship between SAP and it’s partners is changing with SAP’s pivot to a cloud-centered software services company.
This week IgniteSAP explores the SAP ecosystem, and how consultants can position themselves to make the most of their valuable skills in that supremely competitive and expanding market.
An Expanding Opportunity
SAP professionals will already be aware of the fact that SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce, and that in order to reach and maintain relationships with this vast cohort of customers, SAP has formed strategic relationships with partners in every commercial and industrial sector, as well as a variety of relationships with SAP services delivery partners.
As the world’s businesses and organizations digitize their operations and move their digital infrastructure to cloud deployment, an expanding opportunity for those offering SAP services is opening up.
Among the 24.000 SAP partners are companies who sell SAP solutions, offer services for SAP solutions, hosting services, and those who build complimentary solutions for use with SAP. These SAP PartnerEdge companies are categorized in levels: silver, gold and platinum. Companies offering SAP services are required by SAP to fulfill criteria to qualify for these SAP-certified categories.
SAP evaluates the business offerings of each partner, examines the operational practices of each company, and assesses the level of SAP certification of its consultants based on a competency framework, as well as customer satisfaction. SAP then continuously monitors them to ensure the highest standards of SAP delivery.
Silver partners specialize in assisting small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) with SAP implementations and services, helping SAP customers to get the most out of their investment.
Gold SAP partners with a strong association with SAP guide customers, including larger corporations, through buying, implementing SAP solutions, as well as offering servicing and support.
Platinum partners belong to a select invitation-only category and include some of the leading global SAP services companies.
Types of partners can be further categorized according to the type of services offered, their location, and size.
SAP Global Strategic Partners
SAP global strategic partners include some of the world’s leading consulting firms, including: Accenture, PwC, Deloitte, Capgemini, TCS, EY, Atos, and Infosys.
There are also strategic partnerships with cloud infrastructure partners like AWS, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud IBM Cloud and Microsoft, as well as technology partnerships with well-known technology companies like Apple, Intel, SUSE, Cisco and Citrix.
Here we will take a closer look at some of the top SAP global service partners to see how their relationship and degree of strategic integration is changing as more and more companies contract these service partners to help them with their digital transformation and cloud adoption, including their new services related to S/4HANA Cloud, and SAP’s cloud transformation programs, Rise with SAP and Grow with SAP.
We start each overview with a comparison of the total number of certified consultants and the number of SAP certifications held by those consultants according to SAP’s Global SI Certifications report for June 2023. In each case that number does not represent the total number of SAP consultants working for that consultancy: only those known to hold certifications issued by SAP. In that report PwC chose not to share their numbers but they are well-known to be similarly large.
Total certified consultants : 10,305
- SAP certifications : 15,415
- SAP S/4HANA : 6,220
- SAP BTP : 2,545
Deloitte’s relationship with SAP dates back to 1989, and they have helped more than 3,500 customers to realize SAP solutions. They recently won the 2023 SAP Pinnacle Awards in five categories and were finalists in another nine.
Currently Deloitte is particularly focussed on helping clients activate an intelligent cloud-enabled “Kinetic Enterprise” with SAP technologies. Working with SAP they have developed a joint-reference architecture for businesses looking to accelerate their Rise with SAP transformation.
Deloitte has earned numerous awards as a top employer, securing the 17th spot in the Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For. Additionally, it received recognition as one of the 2022 Best Workplaces in Consulting & Professional Services.
SAP consultants who can list roles at Deloitte on their CV (resumé) will gain an ongoing respect throughout their career.
Total certified consultants :13,408
- SAP certifications : 24,265
- SAP S/4HANA : 8,807
- SAP BTP : 4,669
Capgemini has a four decade relationship with SAP providing services for more than 1,800 clients. They are an SAP Global Strategic Services Partner and a SAP Global Platinum Reseller Partner. They offer specialized S/4HANA services for industries and have recently become a key partner for Rise with SAP to help clients migrate to the cloud.
Elisabetta Spontoni, Capgemini’s Vice President and Global Head of SAP Portfolio & Operations has said:
“Being one of the largest SAP certified workforces, we know how to translate our clients’ business priorities into a value-based roadmap to SAP S/4HANA and cloud-enabled innovation. We can seamlessly execute this roadmap, and ensure cost-effective cloud economics, leveraging SAP certified accelerators and tools, and strategic partnerships with hyperscalers and key ecosystem players.”
In January this year they were awarded the Work of the Year at the 2023 for their campaign for inclusion of minorities in the workplace. In 2022 they won the SAP EMEA North Award for Partner Excellence in SAP Business Technology Adoption, the SAP Transformation Partner of the Year in the Tricentis Partner Awards, as well as many other SAP awards over the last decade, recognizing their commitment to excellence in SAP consulting services.
Total certified consultants : large number (not shared)
- SAP certifications : large number (not shared)
- SAP S/4HANA : large number (not shared)
- SAP BTP : large number (not shared)
PwC has had a two-decade relationship with SAP, and are long term Platinum partners. In December 2022 PwC and SAP deepened their partnership with a new co-innovation strategy to help organizations achieve their ESG targets. They also launched new complimentary offerings for Rise with SAP called Transcend with PwC to help companies maximize their investment, and minimize the total cost of ownership of SAP solutions.
In 2023 they won the SAP EMEA North region Award for Service Partner Excellence for SAP Business Technology Platform, and the SAP Asia Pacific Japan Award for Partner Excellence 2023 for SAP PartnerEdge Cloud Choice.
As an employer they have also won a place in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employer of the Year, The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2022, and are in the Top Ten Employer in the Social Mobility Employer Index and are also Leadership of the Year winners in the Social Mobility Awards.
Both SAP consultants working for PwC and their clients gain credibility and security from their associations with this SAP partner, which maintains a large section of the SAP services market.
Total certified consultants : 19,630
- SAP certifications : 29,150
- SAP S/4HANA : 9,989
- SAP BTP : 7,631
Accenture and SAP have had an ongoing partnership lasting more than 40 years. In May 2022 they expanded this partnership with a new joint cloud offering for clients, integrating Rise with SAP and Soar with Accenture. As with offerings from other SAP partners designed to compliment Rise with SAP, Soar with Accenture is intended to help clients establish a clean core to maximize their investment in Rise.
Accenture achieved the title of a Leader in SAP implementation services by IDC MarketScape in August 2022. In April 2023, they received the 10th Anniversary Superstar award for their collaboration in developing a digital colleague experience for BT, a national and international telecommunications company. They have been recognized as award winners for ten consecutive years as the leading IT services company in Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, and they hold a place among the top ten companies in six countries in Fortune and Great Place to Work® World’s Best Workplaces™ rankings.
Working With SAP Partners
As a consultant it is highly likely that your career will involve some employment by SAP partners as these companies have grown alongside SAP and as a group maintain the majority of the market for SAP services. The experience gained from working with a large corporation such as those listed above will be an invaluable addition to your resumé, and may equip you with real world skills to add to your SAP certifications: maximizing your employability.
It is important to note that as the SAP portfolio changes and pivots toward a cloud first landscape with Rise, and Grow with SAP, the skills required for employment by these partners and others will also change: so retraining and augmenting your skills to maintain relevance is vitally important for SAP consultants.
Daily consulting work may, for instance, involve the use of business process intelligence software like SAP Signavio, or may include many more activities to ensure a clean core before the scoping stage of many SAP implementation projects. Fundamentally, SAP consultants should be making sure they can facilitate their clients ambitions to migrate to cloud deployments of SAP, whether they work for one of the Platinum Partners, a smaller consultancy, or freelance.
If you are looking for a new role in the SAP ecosystem then our team of expert recruiters can help you find your ideal employer and a compensation package that reflects your extremely valuable skills so join us at IgniteSAP.