SAP names Karl Fahrbach first chief partner officer in reworking of channel chief role

Fahrbach’s new position is a hybrid of the work he had already been doing and the large scope of the role formerly filled by Rodolpho Cardenuto, who recently left SAP.

Karl Fahrbach, now chief partner officer at SAP

SAP has announced the appointment of Karl Fahrbach as the company’s first chief partner officer. The new role combines both the work Fahrbach had been doing as  chief operating officer for the Global Partner Organization, together with the President of SAP Global Partner Organization role that had been filled by Rodolpho Cardenuto, before his surprise announcement last December that he would be leaving the company.

SAP has announced that Fahrbach will be responsible for driving next-generation partnering at SAP – which is pretty much what his role was before. His work since 2015 has focused on scaling SAP’s on-prem business into the cloud, with a specific focus on their midmarket business. This was SAP’s 2020 Strategy, which saw the launch of the Cloud First Profit program at the end of 2016. They have since added to Cloud First with initiatives like Cloud Accelerator, which helps partners to run a marketing department, and the SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions announced a year ago, which are designed to provide repeatable solution packages that partners differentiate with their own IP. Late last year, SAP announced that partners will now have free access to the SAP Cloud Platform for testing, demonstration and development licensing services, to help them develop own IP on top of SAP to provide more customized content for specific micro-verticals and local markets.

Fahrbach’s responsibilities in his new role include evolving partner commercial models to intensify partner innovation, platform adoption and the sale of cloud solutions with partners across all customer segments and markets. Since this is what he what he is doing before, the significance for partners, now that he is in the top channel role, is that the focus on partner innovation in the cloud, which already had been highly emphasized in SAP channel messaging, will be even stronger going forward.

“We will continue to scale out our on-prem success in the cloud, and scale that business, and continue to develop partner innovation capabilities,” Fahrbach told ChannelBuzz.

IDC estimates SAP’s partner economy to be about US$100 billion and projects that to double over the next five years. More than 60 percent of that is expected to be in the cloud

ChannelBuzz will be following up on this tomorrow with an interview with Fahrbach, to get more detail about his plans.