Go to Market with SAP Startup Focus

headshot deepak

Deepak Aher is the Global Lead of Market Enablement for the SAP Startup Focus Program. In his role, he leads market and sales enablement, go-to-market strategy and execution, business development and enteprise customer startup engagements for big-data and analytics startup solutions to help generate sales pipeline, market and revenue opportunities with SAP HANA.

We sat down with Deepak to understand how SAP HANA startup solutions are commercialized with SAP’s customer installed base. For many startups, visibility with SAP’s vast customer ecosystem is the primary differentiator in their decision to choose SAP Startup Focus as their accelerator program. Below, we break down the various elements of the Go-to-Market process for validated startups in the program.

Describe your role at SAP Startup Focus.

My role is associated with commercializing and monetizing the startups within the SAP ecosystem. Once startups have validated with the SAP Startup Focus value engineering team, they are then aligned for go to market readiness and eventually, go to market with SAP customers.

At what point does a startup begin their go to market activities within the SAP Startup Focus program?

Ideally they have completed validation once they have submitted their HANA solution description, they have built their POC, and have been validated and certified (the latter optional is optional). After this checklist has been completed, this is the best time to evaluate startups along multiple angles. One is what is their readiness as is today, and the second would be is there coaching or mentoring that needs to be done in order to get them ready for the market?

Can you describe the various Go-to-Market models startups will use during their commercialization in SAP’s customer ecosystem?

There are various types of go to market models within the SAP ecosystem, two which work best with startups.

  • Co sell with SAP: SAP’s sells its own products at the customer side, taking a startup along and the startup will then sell its own solution at the customer side.
  • Re-sell with SAP: where the startup resells SAP’s products, particularly those with HANA embedded into the solution, with the customer purchasing one solution which already has HANA in it, or SAP and startup solution combined,  and selling together but on different papers.

Provide a few examples of customer engagements that startups can look forward to when they begin their commercial activities.

Once the startup has been evaluated for go to market readiness, there are multiple ways the go to market activities take place. We invite customers to EBCs (executive briefing centers) who are then shown what our products and capabilities are, including those developed by SAP startups.

Fortunately, we are allotted these sessions to present in front of customers at the EBC the world over on an ongoing basis to showcase how we are bringing innovation into the enterprise. Many times, we invite 2 to 3 customers to be a part of these sessions.

In addition, we take these startups to different events, including industry based events or SAP focused events, all which represent the perfect opportunity for startups to network and develop their business pipeline.

Since the program’s inception, nearly 200 startups have been validated, subsequently taken to market with SAP’s customer installed base. With over 2,500 startups engaged worldwide, hundreds of startups stand to infuse their enterprise applications to customers hungry for the next game-changing tools. Be a part of enterprise innovation. Join today.