Published: April 4th, 2013

The new North American channel chief for business software vendor SAG AG met the channel press on Thursday, bearing heady plans for growth with the company’s channel partners.

Troy Richardson joined SAP nearly six months ago as senior vice-president and general manager of the ecosystem group for SAP North America, having held senior positions with IBM, NCR, Novell and HP over nearly 30 years in the IT sector.

The vendor has set ambitious worldwide plans for revenue growth with a 2015 end date, and hitting them will require growing the company’s channel pie considerably. His top priority, said Richardson, is to figure out how to build capacity with SAP’s key reseller partners to help the company hit their growth targets.

Key to that is segmenting the market, and all companies under a billion dollars in revenue in North America will be channel-led. There will be an industry focus to help develop partner specialization in key vertical markets and, with the acquisition of Sybase and Business Objects, develop new OEM relationships. SAP is also continuing to expand its work with tier two distribution.

“We’re asking partners to make investments in our growth because we’re very serious about it, and we want to invest in their business too,” said Richardson.

SAP is also carving out key market segments where it wants to drive the bulk of business through the channel by 2015, including the general business segment. Richardson adds SAP is now driving more than $1 billion of  global revenue through the channel.

“We’ve put additional resources into the ecosystem to recruit and support partners in general business; we want partners to drive and own that space,” said Richardson.

Kevin Gilroy held Richardson’s job when he first joined SAP after a career with HP and other vendors; now he holds a worldwide role as senior vice-president of global indirect channels. Gilroy emphasized SAP’s commitment to the small and medium-sized enterprise space, noting 80 per cent of SAP’s customers are SMEs. He added SAP is looking to double its addressable market (to $220 billion worldwide) by 2015 through aggressive channel growth, and growth that is profitable for SAP’s partners.

“A lot of wealth and rich people are being created in our channel ecosystem,” said Gilroy. “We’re maniacally focused on a predictable channel model for our partners to attack and address the market.”