SAP Discovery Day Romania 2023 - Key Insights

On the 24th of October, PAC participated in SAP Discovery Day Romania – Reinvent. The event brought together partners, customers, prospects, industry experts, and other stakeholders. It was an opportunity for the German technology vendor to highlight its interest in the local market, with significant development plans for the coming period. Of course, the latest announcements made by the company could not be missed, such as the launch of Joule, the generative AI assistant that will soon be embedded gradually in SAP applications.

The focus was on cloud migration, with Google Cloud and AWS present at the event to explain the benefits of running SAP applications based on their capabilities. SAP's strong network of partners in Romania is an essential locomotive for expanding in a market that, at first glance, does not offer many opportunities compared, for instance, to Western and Central Europe. Thus, SAP implemented important projects through its partners and reached large companies. For example, Red Point has in its portfolio successful use cases mainly in large accounts in industry and retail, and Focality in large energy providers. Also, when talking about customers, the representatives of three of the largest retail chains in Romania, Carrefour, Cora, and Auchan, joined the event and explained the challenges they faced by implementing SAP solutions. While some companies had already chosen SAP before entering the Romanian market, the local success stories demonstrate that Romania can offer even more opportunities, considering the dynamic of the market development.

Overall, SAP's trajectory in Romania is positive, despite the serious drawbacks in this market, such as expensive products compared to the local purchase power. The workforce is another painful point, most of it being deployed in more profitable projects in and for Western Europe or global customers, making there a shortage of skilled experts and too high costs for pure domestic accounts.

The company launched an offering for SMEs last year, which has the potential to increase adoption among Romanian entrepreneurs and compete with smaller ERP systems; this sector represents an important part of the Romanian economy, which will be pressured to speed up the digital transformation to maintain its competitiveness.

With a total staff that is planned to exceed 1,000 people in the near future, SAP focuses in Romania primarily on global consulting and support services delivery. Nevertheless, the local partner ecosystem and customers benefit from higher attention from the local and regional teams, and the presence of large teams of experts in the company’s teams in Romania facilitates an easy and fast response to local opportunities as well. More recently, SAP expressed its confidence in the Romanian highly skilled engineers and announced the opening of an SAP Labs Site in Bucharest, which will further increase the company’s awareness in the local IT market.

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