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SAP EMEA South president prioritises intelligent enterprises

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Claudio Muruzabal, SAP president for EMEA South region.
Claudio Muruzabal, SAP president for EMEA South region.

Claudio Muruzabal, SAP president for EMEA South region, says his top priority since his appointment five months ago, is to help businesses in the region transform into sustainable intelligent enterprises, through the use of emerging technologies.

Muruzabal, who took over from Steve Tzikakis in July, told ITWeb that EMEA South represents a tremendously dynamic market for SAP, and the opportunity to grow in the region is significant, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many enterprises to re-think how they measure their success and performance.

In light of the crisis, the enterprise software giant has decided to accelerate transformation to the cloud as part of its strategy to help organisations build intelligent enterprises, through the critical role of leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of things and analytics, as they navigate uncertainty in the ‘new normal’, according to Muruzabal.

SAP has over 23 000 customers and more than 19 000 partners across the EMEA South region, which use its suite of integrated applications that support business processes and provide a 360-degree view of the business.

Muruzabal points out SAP has invested heavily in its renewed focus to help EMEA South organisations to streamline business processes with emerging technologies to create integrated, data-driven management and operational platforms.

“We are investing more heavily in research and development and in the modernisation of our cloud delivery. The cloud is not slowing down – our customers are demanding to make the shift, and make it fast.

“Pre-COVID-19, most businesses focused largely on managing profitability and growth. What this crisis has revealed is the importance of adaptability, resilience and sustainability in its broadest sense. For many businesses right now, this expanded concept of sustainability has taken on a larger meaning, where they are being challenged to measure sustainability and business success more holistically, in a way that connects the classic triple bottom line elements of economic, social and environmental impacts.”

Muruzabal notes that through emerging technologies, intelligent enterprises are able to seamlessly implement remote working strategies, automate tasks, speed up general business operations and improve customer experience – creating resilience that allows them to “address challenges holistically, while continuing to make a positive impact in their communities and the world in general”.

In its third quarter results for 2020, SAP demonstrated its resilience to the ramification of COVID-19, with stable total revenue and an improvement in operating profit and margins, adds Muruzabal.

The company’s third quarter cloud backlog was up 10% year-over-year to €6.60 billion, while cloud revenue grew 11% year-over-year to €1.98 billion.

The software giant says it played a crucial role in helping customers transition to remote working and managing operations through a very tough business environment during the early lockdown periods.

In the first nine months of 2020, approximately 28 000 customers across the globe went live with SAP solutions.

Among the reasons behind its good performance was the huge uptake in cloud services in the region and SAP making several of its product offerings available free of charge − including supply chain software, Ariba Discovery and Remote Work Pulse from Qualtrics, which helps organisations understand how prepared they are for a remote workforce, according to Muruzabal.

“SAP has been integral to keeping the world running. Our customer base and partner ecosystem in EMEA South is innovative and amazingly resilient.

“And with our accelerated focus on supporting our existing and new customers to thrive in the cloud, our mission in supporting our customers become intelligent enterprises has never been more important. So, when the next crisis comes along, their businesses will not only be better prepared to weather the storm but identify and capitalise on moments of opportunity.”

In the third quarter of 2020, SAP worked with Deutsche Telekom to further develop the Corona Warn App, which has been downloaded over 20 million times.

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