A Country Music Perspective from SAP’s Field Kick-Off Meeting 2020
The Tools are the Stage and Music; How You Choose to Experience Them Makes the Difference
By Clay Thomas, Principal SCMO2
As a Gold Partner, SCMO2 attended SAP’s annual Field Kickoff Meeting (FKOM) in Las Vegas last week to learn what their primary message to customers will be for the year. Distilled to their marketing slogan, that message is “Forward Together.”
No doubt we will be hearing a thorough dissection of the specific sessions and talks, and the direct or implied intentions of each. You may hear some talk about one session highlighting the “added value” of bundling HANA with an IBP implementation as “a clever means of defining ‘together’ for SAP.” I have already read reports that are connecting the lack of emphasis on the 2025 deadline date to Adaire Fox-Martin’s comment on being proud of SAP’s roots as an ERP company as evidence that customers’ concerns about keeping legacy on-premise systems in place is being heard.
Me? I went to a Keith Urban concert after the conference, so I have a different lens through which I wanted to share my debrief.
In Vegas especially, there is always the “show” aspect of a performance, But having seen Keith a few times before, and watching him regularly on American Idol, his shows are always genuinely authentic. The Vegas show was no different. It’s not just that he cares so much about what he is doing…you can tell he feels it too. It flows through his music and lyrics (he does write his own songs), it shows in his solos and it radiates in his interactions with the audience.
After the show, I shared an interesting observation with my wife: I’ve seen Garth Brooks, his shows are awesome productions with huge crowds that sing every word of every song. But it’s an externalizing experience. In contrast, Keith Urban delivers an uplifting and emotional performance that feels personal and evokes greater reflection and internal impact. Two fantastic shows, two very different experiences.
So what does this have to do with FKOM?
For all the motivating hype and hoopla the SAP Sales Group and Partners threw out at FKOM last week, all you really need to think about are those two words—Forward Together—and just how authentic you believe SAP and their Partners to be. All the tools are already there, mostly. S/4 HANA, IBP, Ariba and the various peripherals.
But do you feel that your corporate goals and needs are being considered by those with whom you are working? Do you feel that your performance improvement is being included in their recommended implementation and course of action? SAP tools are simply the stage and the lights. Whether you are getting a massive externalized production, or an intimate internal solution is up to the partners you choose to take to the “show”.
Over the course of doing business these past two decades, and being up on that SAP stage as SCMO2, I certainly hope you in the audience see us as I saw Keith Urban last weekend – authentic, engaged, open, emotionally invested and just plain awesome.
How much better, then, we can be in moving “Forward Together” as these “Days Go By!”