Last week, ASUG published the first part of our interview with Gero Decker, CEO and co-founder of Signavio, which was recently acquired by SAP earlier this year. In the second part of our conversation, he walks us through how it’s been fitting into the SAP ecosystem and what the future looks like for Signavio.

ASUG: What has been the experience like for you all on the Signavio team as you all have become a part of SAP?

Gero Decker: First and foremost, we were welcomed with open arms. The day the announcement went out that Signavio got acquired by SAP, I got so many from SAP employees expressing their love and fascination. It was interesting to see how exciting everyone at SAP was to have us on board. Now, this poses a different challenge to us because suddenly everybody wants to play with us. With RISE with SAP, we have a focus on SAP S/4HANA. As you know, SAP S/4HANA is the frontrunner in many of the integration initiatives that we launched. But there's so much more in SAP. Take for example SAP SuccessFactors or SAP Ariba. We have had a great relationship historically with those teams.

We wish we could do everything on day one. For us, it's building the right priorities and doing one step after the other. But now we see great momentum. If I just look at the last three months in terms of business momentum, Signavio has grown significantly. Our best quarter so far was Q4 2020, but the second quarter this year was almost two and a half times bigger for us. You take your record and then you multiply it by 2.5. This is what we got with the first quarter under the SAP. So, you can see the type of momentum, interest, and traction we have.

This was only the beginning. It's just so synergistic. I wouldn't claim this as the most synergistic acquisition that SAP has ever done because we so nicely compliment what SAP is doing, but we elevate the dialogue with the customer. We also help SAP, not only talk about great applications and technology, but we also help the company talk about digital transformation, transforming a business, and end to end, SAP on SAP. This is obviously a wonderful opportunity to then object and say, "I can recommend you all of the great things that we, at SAP, would be able to do." And for the things when we can't recommend anything meaningful to you when we don't have an offering. Well, at least we learned that many customers seem to ask for it. So, we might use that as feedback going forward.

ASUG: What is one thing every organization can do right now to improve their business processes?

Gero Decker: Well, it always starts with a mindset. It starts with the mindset that you actually want to challenge yourself. If you're happy with the status quo, you also need to be happy with it drowning in five or 10 years into irrelevance. For some people that's fine, and they'd happily live with that. And then, only wake up one morning in the future. Although, for the rest of us, it's a realization of uncertainty. The first thing that you always need to do is to realize that processes are actually your best friend. Why? Because they help you translate what you want to deliver to your customer.

With a very big organization, you need to deliver on a day-to-day basis. So, that realization and process is a magic tool. It's your magic wand to make stuff happen. This is a big realization. And if you do that, you will immediately start looking at things through a different lens. You will not only chase fires, but you will stop doing instructional right.

ASUG: What does the future look like for you all? How would you like Signavio to continue growing and helping customers over the coming years?

Gero Decker: We two have very important goals. One is obviously, we want to be the center for process and transformation. So, this is what we have always been pursuing: being the number one place if you want to talk process or if you want me to talk transformation. But the future is much broader than that because SAP is on the verge of reinventing itself. In the past, we would have a big package and say, "I decide on a package or not." But the future is you look at your operating model and you say, "These are the areas where we need change. These are the areas where we need improvement because this drives business outcomes. This helps us serve our customers."

So, this is the starting point where you then talk about the future of your operating model. Basically, in a very easy and seamless way, you can simply captivate and pull in the capabilities that SAP provides on that journey independently of the big application. But it's really your process that you're filling with life. But this needs change at SAP as well, in the sense of how you built your products because they need to be much more modular, much more composable. You also need to be much more explicit about the business process and the context that you're trying to solve.

The value drivers for your customers are so important. What other capabilities that we're pointing to? What are the types of process fragments that we can attach tasks and automate support? So, this is what we're currently working on SAP to provide that unified language as well—so that we all talk the same language, talk process for the customer. And then, everything that we do in terms of product at SAP plugs into that so that, as Christian Klein puts it, you want to sit down with your SAP counterpart and really look at your processes today and your processes in the future. Ideally, this is as easy as right-click activate and you can pull in the right capabilities to support that. And tomorrow you can go live on the new process.

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