CFO Asam Credits AI Boom for SAP’s Record Growth in Cloud Services

Dominik Asam, Chief Financial Officer of SAP SE, has seen firsthand how artificial intelligence reshapes the company's cloud business. "The advent of AI has clearly propelled the story of the transfor...
CFO Asam Credits AI Boom for SAP’s Record Growth in Cloud Services
Written by Rich Ord
  • SAP SE, Europe’s largest software firm, has experienced unprecedented growth in its cloud services, fueled by the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence. Dominik Asam, SAP’s Chief Financial Officer, attributes this growth to AI’s transformative power, which has significantly boosted the company’s cloud revenue.

    AI Propels Cloud Transformation

    Dominik Asam, Chief Financial Officer of SAP SE, has seen firsthand how artificial intelligence reshapes the company’s cloud business. “The advent of AI has clearly propelled the story of the transformation to the cloud,” Asam noted, highlighting that SAP’s cloud revenue surged by 25% on a constant currency basis. This transformation is not only a reflection of the growing demand for AI but also a testament to SAP’s strategic vision and execution.

    Record Growth in Cloud Revenue

    The company’s forward-looking Cloud Contracted Bookings (CCB), which represents subscription revenues locked in for the next 12 months, grew by an impressive 28%. Asam attributed this growth to SAP’s robust cloud offering, particularly the Cloud IP suite, which has consistently generated over 30% growth for nine consecutive quarters. “It’s a broad set of applications throughout the enterprise,” Asam explained, adding that these applications span various functions, including finance and supply chain management.

    AI Use Cases Driving Adoption

    A diverse range of AI-powered use cases underpins SAP’s success in the cloud. Asam detailed how the company has brought about 30 use cases to market, with plans to introduce another 100. More than 27,000 customers are leveraging these AI solutions to enhance productivity and address challenges such as rising salary inflation. “The 300 million users we have by now in the cloud are really benefiting,” Asam emphasized, illustrating the widespread impact of these technologies.

    Broad Application of AI

    The application of AI within SAP’s cloud services is extensive. AI is being integrated across the enterprise, from optimizing financial operations to streamlining supply chains. “There’s actually no exclusion,” Asam said, underscoring the versatility and reach of AI solutions. This broad adoption is enhancing efficiency and positioning SAP as a leader in the AI-driven cloud space.

    As SAP continues to innovate and expand its AI offerings, the company is poised to maintain its strong growth trajectory. The strategic integration of AI into its cloud services is a crucial differentiator, setting SAP apart from competitors and driving significant value for its customers. “We have more than 27,000 customers using AI-powered use cases,” Asam reiterated, highlighting the substantial and growing impact of these technologies on the company’s success.

    Broad Applications of AI

    SAP’s CFO, Dominik Asam, emphasizes that AI applications within SAP’s ecosystem are extensive and diverse. “It’s a broad set of applications throughout the enterprise,” Asam noted, pointing to how AI is being harnessed in various sectors, from finance to supply chain management. This expansive use of AI is a testament to its transformative power and versatility in addressing complex business challenges.

    Transforming Finance and Supply Chains

    In finance, AI is utilized to optimize operations, streamline processes, and improve decision-making. AI-driven insights enable CFOs and finance teams to identify trends, predict outcomes, and make data-driven decisions more accurately. “The integration of AI in finance is not just about automation; it’s about enhancing the strategic role of finance in driving business growth,” Asam explained.

    Enhancing Operational Efficiency

    Similarly, AI is revolutionizing how businesses manage their logistics and operations in the supply chain sector. AI-powered tools are forecasting demand, managing inventory, and optimizing routes, leading to significant improvements in efficiency and cost savings. Asam highlighted, “Our AI applications in the supply chain are helping businesses navigate complexities and enhance their operational efficiency.”

    Real-World Impact of AI Solutions

    SAP’s AI solutions are already making a real-world impact. The benefits are clear with more than 27,000 customers utilizing AI-powered use cases. These applications are not only boosting productivity but also helping businesses tackle critical issues such as salary inflation. “The 300 million users we have by now in the cloud are really benefiting,” Asam said, underscoring these technologies’ widespread and tangible benefits.

    The broad adoption of AI across various functions within SAP’s offerings showcases the company’s commitment to innovation and customer-centric solutions. As businesses continue to embrace digital transformation, SAP’s AI-driven approach is poised to lead the way, delivering significant value and competitive advantage to its clients.

    Gaining Market Share

    SAP’s remarkable growth in the cloud sector is not just a product of the surging demand for AI but also a testament to its strategic prowess in gaining market share. Dominik Asam, SAP’s CFO, underscores the company’s ability to outperform competitors significantly. “On the cloud suite of what we do, we’re seeing more than 30% growth, whereas the market is more in the low to mid-teens,” Asam remarked. This exceptional performance highlights SAP’s capability to meet and exceed market expectations.

    Outpacing Competitors

    The growth figures reflect SAP’s success in outpacing competitors, thanks to its robust cloud offerings and strategic positioning. “It’s like more than twice the performance of the market,” Asam noted, indicating a substantial competitive edge. This impressive growth is attributed to the company’s ability to innovate and adapt its solutions to meet the evolving needs of its clients.

    Displacing Homemade Solutions

    A significant part of SAP’s market share gains from displacing homemade solutions. Many businesses have traditionally relied on bespoke, in-house systems for their operations. However, SAP’s advanced cloud solutions have proven more efficient, scalable, and cost-effective. “We are displacing many homemade solutions,” Asam said, highlighting the shift towards standardized, high-performance cloud platforms.

    Converting On-Prem Customers to the Cloud

    SAP’s strategy also involves transitioning its extensive base of on-premise customers to its cloud solutions. This move has been a critical driver of growth. “Now we are really moving to the cloud so we can convert that huge customer base on prem into the cloud, and that drives the growth,” Asam explained. By offering seamless migration and enhanced functionalities, SAP ensures that its existing customers benefit from the advantages of cloud computing.

    Strong Performance in Key Markets

    While SAP sees potential growth opportunities in various regions, its strongest performances have been in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United States. “We have been super strong in Asia-Pacific, outside China, also Europe, and last but not least, the biggest market for us is the United States,” Asam stated. This geographical diversification allows SAP to leverage growth in different economic environments, further solidifying its market position.

    The strategic focus on converting on-premise customers, displacing homemade solutions, and leveraging key markets has enabled SAP to gain a significant competitive advantage. As businesses increasingly adopt cloud technologies, SAP’s market share is poised to expand even further, driven by its innovative AI-powered solutions and strategic market positioning.

    Expansion Beyond China

    While China represents a notable market for global tech firms, SAP’s growth strategy extends far beyond its borders. Dominik Asam, SAP’s CFO, acknowledges the potential in China but emphasizes that other regions play a more significant role in driving the company’s growth. “We do see growth opportunities in China, but honestly, there are other markets which move the needle much more for us,” Asam commented.

    Strong Performance in Asia-Pacific

    SAP has seen substantial success across the Asia-Pacific region, excluding China. This area has become a pivotal market for the company’s cloud services and AI solutions. “We have been super strong in Asia-Pacific, outside China,” Asam noted. Countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Australia have shown a growing demand for SAP’s advanced technologies, contributing to the company’s impressive revenue growth.

    Europe’s Resurgence

    Europe, often considered a mature market for enterprise software, continues to perform robustly for SAP. “Good old Europe is doing quite strongly,” Asam stated, indicating that the region remains vital to SAP’s growth strategy. The company’s ability to adapt its solutions to meet European businesses’ unique regulatory and operational requirements has been a key factor in sustaining growth in this region.

    Dominance in the United States

    The United States remains SAP’s largest and most significant market. The country’s dynamic business environment and rapid adoption of new technologies make it an ideal landscape for SAP’s cloud and AI offerings. “The biggest market for us is the United States, and we have also great traction here,” Asam highlighted. SAP’s strong presence and continuous innovation in the U.S. market position it as a leader in enterprise software solutions.

    Leveraging Local Insights

    A critical component of SAP’s international success is its ability to leverage local insights and tailor its solutions to meet the specific needs of different regions. By understanding each market’s unique challenges and opportunities, SAP can provide more relevant and effective solutions. This localized approach has been particularly effective in Asia-Pacific and Europe, where market dynamics can vary significantly.

    Adapting to Market Trends

    SAP’s expansion strategy also involves staying ahead of market trends and adapting its offerings to meet emerging demands. As businesses worldwide continue to navigate digital transformation and the integration of AI technologies, SAP’s proactive approach ensures it remains at the forefront of innovation. This adaptability is crucial for maintaining growth and expanding market share in diverse and evolving markets.

    The strategic focus on regions beyond China and strong performances in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United States underscores SAP’s comprehensive approach to global expansion. By leveraging local insights and adapting to market trends, SAP is well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory and solidify its leadership in the enterprise software market.

    Future Prospects

    As SAP continues to ride the wave of AI-driven cloud transformation, the future looks promising for Europe’s largest software firm. Dominik Asam, SAP’s CFO, is optimistic about the company’s prospects, underscoring the pivotal role of innovation and strategic growth in their long-term vision.

    Innovation at the Core

    SAP’s commitment to innovation is unwavering. The company plans to introduce 100 new AI use cases, adding to the 30 already available. “We have brought about 30 use cases recently to the market. We are planning another 100 to come,” Asam stated. This continuous expansion of AI applications is expected to enhance productivity across various business functions, further solidifying SAP’s position as a leader in enterprise technology.

    Expanding Customer Base

    SAP’s strategy to transition its vast on-premises customer base to the cloud is a cornerstone of its growth plan. By converting these customers, SAP drives revenue growth and enhances customer loyalty through improved service offerings. “We can convert that huge customer base on-prem into the cloud, which drives growth,” Asam emphasized. This strategic shift is expected to yield significant dividends as more businesses recognize the benefits of cloud-based solutions.

    Navigating Global Markets

    SAP’s future growth will also be driven by its ability to navigate and capitalize on opportunities in diverse global markets. While China remains a potential growth area, regions such as Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United States are set to be the primary growth drivers. “The biggest market for us is the United States, and we have also great traction here,” Asam noted. By leveraging its strengths in these key markets, SAP is poised to sustain its growth momentum.

    Preparing for Challenges

    Despite the optimistic outlook, SAP is also preparing for potential challenges. The rapidly evolving technological landscape and increasing competition require SAP to remain agile and responsive. “We are working at the cutting edge of technology and bringing it to our customers,” Asam said. This proactive approach ensures that SAP can effectively address emerging challenges and continue delivering value to its customers.

    Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

    Looking ahead, SAP is also focusing on sustainability and corporate responsibility. As businesses globally prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, SAP aims to lead by example. By integrating sustainable practices into its operations and product offerings, SAP enhances its corporate reputation and meets the growing demand for responsible business practices.

    In conclusion, SAP’s prospects are bright, driven by a robust strategy centered on innovation, customer conversion, and global market expansion. Under the leadership of CFO Dominik Asam, SAP is well-positioned to navigate the dynamic landscape of enterprise technology and maintain its leadership in the industry. With a strong focus on innovation, customer satisfaction, and sustainability, SAP is set to continue its impressive growth trajectory and deliver significant value to its stakeholders.

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