Interview

Maximizing the Value of Data

Rajeev Singh, Vice President & Business Head - Midmarket & Emerging Business, SAP Indian Subcontinent

SAP’s Business Technology Platform brings together data, data management, analytics, planning, Artificial Intelligence, integration, automation and application development cloud native services in a unified environment

The pandemic-driven digital revolution across industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, etc. has resulted in enhanced big data implementation. Industrial internet of things (IIoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) too have propelled computerization in the production industry. Big data technology is increasingly being employed across portfolio management, asset administration and analytical maintenance, network manufacturing, real-time alerts, and many more to magnify business growth.

Riding on the uptick in market demand, the global big data analytics market size is surging ahead and is expected to breach a USD 549.73 billion mark by 2028. From an overall market size of USD 206.95 billion in 2020, it has reached USD 231.43 billion in 2021. Continuing its growth streak, the market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 13.2% during the 2021-2028 period, according to “Big Data Analytics Market Forecast, 2021-2028” report from Fortune Business Insights.

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“To drive continuous learning throughout the whole SAP portfolio and aid partners in staying updated with SAP solutions, a new learning service has been created and customized for our partners to meet their unique business and training requirements. “

Rajeev Singh,
Vice President & Business Head – Midmarket & Emerging Business,
SAP Indian Subcontinent

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The Big Data Analytics market in India is currently valued at $2 Billion. This is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26 percent reaching approximately $16 Billion by 2025, making India’s share approximately 32 percent in the overall global market. The nearly eight fold leap of the Indian Big Data market is a lucrative opportunity waiting to be tapped.

As the India market remains in the eye of a major digital transformation buoyed by a tech-centred Union Budget, SME Channels embarks upon recording the voices of the who’s who of the Big Data Analytics landscape.

In a special interaction with SME Channels, Rajeev Singh, Vice President & Business Head – Midmarket & Emerging Business, SAP Indian Subcontinent,, reveals his organization’s approach to leverage this highly promising technology, opportunities created by the Analytics market for channel growth, his forecasts for the Big Data Analytics industry, the major growth drivers and his vision and plans for the channel community. Edited excerpts…

Please brief us about the Big Data Analytics Solutions offered by your company.  

The world of Big Data is rapidly evolving with Indian enterprises accelerating their digital transformation journey. The rapid shift to cloud is fuelled by enterprises’ aim to better sense and respond to consumer demand, monetize new business models, and continue to stay relevant in a competitive market.

To maximise the value of data and deliver tangible business outcomes, SAP offers its customers an enterprise grade, industry leading and analysts endorsed Platform-As-a- Service (PaaS) suite called the Business Technology Platform (BTP). SAP’s Business Technology Platform brings together data, data management, analytics, planning, Artificial Intelligence, integration, automation and application development cloud native services in a unified environment.

Indian customers across industries have pivoted to SAP’s Business Technology platform for their data strategy needs and have realized quick business value. They have deployed Bigdata use-cases covering real-time cash flow & liquidity forecasting, raw material & inventory forecasting, customer & business partner risk scoring, predictive quality management etc. based on existing data stored in SAP & Non-SAP applications.

SAP’s BigData Analytics core offerings include SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP HANA Cloud and SAP Data Intelligence. With SAP Analytic cloud we bring together AI-powered analytics and planning with a unique integration to SAP applications and smooth access to heterogeneous data sources. With over 100+ prebuilt industry and line of business templates, business users are now able to act on real-time insights, make agile decisions, plan, simulate and forecast business outcomes based on historical and current trends.  With SAP HANA Cloud, our customers can now modernise their data foundation with an in-memory database technology that runs transactions and analytics on multi-model data at a petabyte scale with integrated multi-tier storage. With SAP Data Intelligence we provide  a set of tools to identify, gather, analyze, and make available the most context-relevant data throughout the enterprise.

What key mega trends do you foresee in the Data Analytics market?  

Today many companies are using historical data to conduct product research, track customer engagement and loyalty, and identify key market trends. As a result, data analytics has emerged as a critical component of enterprise digital transformation initiatives. Some of the key trends I foresee are:

  1. Enterprises will need to adopt data fabric architectures: Channels for digital marketing, sales, customer support, and services are rapidly expanding, however, a remote working style complicates matters. Enterprises are now dealing with many applications, devices, and data infrastructure (think data warehouse, data lakes) and the distributed enterprise lacks a centralized data infrastructure that seamlessly weaves all available data and caters to the organization’s data and analytics needs from beginning to end. In the future, organizations will need to strategize ways to drive a unified enterprise-wide data and analytics management approach that empowers them while also improving delivery time.
  2. Increase in AI-based data analytics: AI, automation, and machine learning are reshaping the business landscape around the world. AI is advancing quickly, particularly in data analytics, where it not only augments human capabilities but also contributes to increased business value. The pandemic and remote work have increased data tracking and measurement opportunities significantly, spawning a new data-driven culture in organisations. This data culture is encouraging investments in AI-based analytics.
  3. Data-analytics to drive Diversity and inclusion & Sustainability efforts: Organizations have begun priortising the enabling of a future with zero emissions, zero waste, and zero inequality. This has resulted in an increase in connecting environmental, social, and financial data holistically to steer businesses toward better decision making and address current and anticipated regulatory compliance reporting. Similarly, Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a significant driver of effectiveness and profitability, as well as a force for social cohesion. It is not surprising that D&I is now the top priority for HR professionals across industries. Businesses can gain insights into the entire employee lifecycle by using quantitative and qualitative data, including recruitment, employee behaviours, governance, processes, talent attraction, learning and development, and so on. We will see more organizations investing in cloud-based data analytics to drive their Sustainability as well as D&I efforts.

What are the major drivers of growth in the Big Data Analytics market?  

Increased internet consumption and the advent of smart mobility technologies have all contributed to an exponential data explosion. As per IDC, the global big data analytics market is projected to grow from $271.83 billion in 2022 to $655.53 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 13.4% in the forecast period. With data establishing itself as the new oil, companies across industries such as healthcare, IT& Telecom, Retail, BFSI, etc., are using data analytics to improve operational efficiencies, develop better products and enhance consumer experiences. This is just the beginning, and we will see more organizations embrace the trend, particularly with enterprises in the government & public sector, as being seen in India.

Other factors such as increase in cloud computing traffic, the burgeoning development and acceptance of technologies like IoT and AI, the increased implementation of big data and AI have all contributed to the growth in big data analytics market.

How do you ensure partner profitability in this emerging technology vertical?  

SAP fosters a vibrant and growing partner ecosystem that helps us achieve our corporate strategy, as well as our services and support aspirations.  Our partners supply vital industry and digital insights to help our customers plan and execute their transformation. Their success means excellent customer experience. To this end, we have aligned our services and support portfolio to be complementary to partner offerings and provide combined value in customer engagements. Additionally, our biggest opportunity as of today is in the cloud. In the coming years, cloud-based activities will account for more than 60 percent of net new revenues for SAP partners. One of the major priorities for us is therefore to create more partner-ready products. Through a variety of our next-gen partner programs such as SAP PartnerEdge, they also receive access to SAP expertise. This helps partners enable, build and improve their capabilities especially during the transition to cloud.

How is the response from the partner community towards this niche technology?

SAP has been consistently recognized as the leader and #1 technology solutions provider across various industry platforms and reviews. Our innovations are led by customer requirements and we service organizations, both big and small, across 25 industries in India. We help our partners quickly deliver solutions, leveraging pre-configured industry and line-of-business functionality which are complementary to their offerings. Together, our partners believe that we are adding true value to our customer’s business transformation and hence, they are aligned and open to taking newer technologies to the market.

Big Data Analytics calls for intensive Partner Upskilling. How do you ensure that your partners are properly trained for this?  

With the current pace of innovation, SAP has long supported learning and enablement across the ecosystem and has been offering an array of cost-effective, role-based learning solutions. To drive continuous learning throughout the whole SAP portfolio and aid partners in staying updated with SAP solutions, a new learning service has been created and customized for our partners to meet their unique business and training requirements. The SAP partner ecosystem has successfully adopted this service since launch, and thousands of learners are actively using it to enhance their skills and knowledge on SAP products and obtain certification.

Launched on a private cloud, SAP PartnerEdge is another programme that offers benefits across various roles within the partner’s organization. For instance, the administrators can better supervise learning activities and comprehend the value obtained from the solution, while learners can upskill in a more private setting with company-specific learning content.

Which industry vertical is currently witnessing the largest application of your solutions?  Which other areas do you target to expand your business?  

The adoption of our solutions is not limited to any specific industry vertical anymore. While the initial push arose from B2C sectors (CPG, Retail & Fashion, Healthcare), now, even traditional B2B setups like discrete manufacturing & EPC are demanding analytics & platform solutions. The shift has been accelerated in the wake of macroeconomic headwinds where promoters & CXOs understand the role of analytics in redefining their strategy. They realize it can help with swiftly responding to challenges like supply chain disruption, optimizing working capital management & talent management to gain completive advantage. Conversations too have evolved from operational dashboard to more prescriptive based analytics where CXOs expect applications to provide guidance considering constraints & historical outcomes.

From an expansion perspective, we are looking at this application segment holistically. As mentioned above, SAP has an extremely rich portfolio around bigdata, platforms (BTP), data intelligence & business warehouse. With 77% of all worldwide business transactions touching an SAP system, we’re ideally placed to be the OEM of choice for everything related to data for our existing customers & prospects.

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