To the surprise of many members of the SAP community, however, Christian Klein will not be in Leipzig in person at the DSAG Annual Congress—DSAG being the German-speaking User Group—this year, but his team is working on an online presence. Should the SAP CEO then turn to visitors from the projection screen, he will be sure to attract all the attention. It is not yet known whether he will also comment on the latest price increases. A statement from him on this matter would be illuminating.
Anyone who wants to meet Christian Klein in person should head to Hamburg a week later, to the Connect 2022: SAP Partners Summit, where he will be on stage with his fellow board member, Scott Russell. However, admission costs 1,290 EUR, and smaller SAP partners in particular are annoyed by this high barrier to participation.
This year SAP is making it very difficult for the community to get in touch personally: the SAP Sapphire event was invitation-only, there is only a video message at the DSAG annual congress, and the Partner Summit in Hamburg, Germany is expensive. But 50 years of SAP’s success can only be attributed to their trust in the common ground they share with their community. SAP should not abandon its tradition of open and sustainable relationship management. A distant and detached SAP would be counterproductive, especially after two years of pandemic; the community is still trying to find its way back to each other.
In terms of relationship management, community contacts, partner care, and customer events, SAP urgently needs new blood. The need for exchange and cooperation is there. SAP shouldn’t drive its existing customers into the arms of competitors by creating unsurmountable hurdles, especially since digital transformation has made the path to other IT offerings and solutions a short one. If Christian Klein does not cultivate his relationship management skills, the SAP community might be facing a bloodletting.