Tanja Rueckert, SAP

Tanja Rueckert


Editors’ Note

Tanja Rueckert has held her current post since July 2015. Prior to this, she was EVP and COO Products & Innovation; EVP and COO Development for SAP SE; EVP, Head of Quality Governance & Production; SVP, Head of Quality Governance and Production; and SVP, Head of Production Unit. She has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Base Study Economics from University of Regensburg.

Company Brief

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (sap.com) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, and desktop to mobile device, SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of competition. SAP applications and services enable nearly 300,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. SAP is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and NYSE.

How you define your role at SAP?

We’ve decided to bring all teams focusing on Internet of Things into one development unit together. We are a technology enabler and we bring a strong knowledge of business processes and more than 40 years of business experience, but in many cases we learn from our customers directly. This is why we feel innovation together with the customer is a key principle for developing future IoT groups.

Would you talk about that relationship and how you work with customers regarding that co-innovation?

I have many strategic development customer sponsorships. We talk about strategic digital transformation roadmaps together with our key customers, and those discussions might result in a project in my own area or in the areas of my peers.

Also, as part of our strategic initiative, we have several industries we are focused on, like manufacturing, where we have core customers handled by our sales force and solutions teams who come back to the office to help us define transformation. We start working with them via a co-innovation approach using some of our standard solutions in IoT along with customer-specific additional add-ons, so they can keep their competitive advantage in a customer specific format.

Finally, we develop completely new applications together with customers. For example, our key strategic customers for SAP have indicated they want to go into a smart safety solution next year. We will work to co-innovate with them. This way, we can make sure the customer feedback is already in the solution before it is launched for the first time and officially released.

Do you look at that co-innovation customer relationship as a key differentiator for SAP?

Our customer relationships are our key differentiator. It’s also how we work with our customers and how we think about partnerships – which is sharing risk and success. This results in trust and openness. We’re not just selling a solution and then sending them off.

This is in the DNA of SAP and it’s something that our customers feel. We always work at keeping our promise and we take it very seriously and customers feel this.

How important has it been to SAP to build a diverse workforce?

With a diverse customer base, it is really important to think about being in their shoes. This is something that tends to be easier for women.

We are a technology company. Innovation and thought leadership are keys for our success and for our survival, and I believe diversity and innovation is a combination that cannot be separated.•