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SAP Taps Partner Organization COO Fahrbach As Its New Channel Chief

Fahrbach, who replaces previous channel chief Rodolpho Cardenuto, leads the channel organization as SAP transitions to cloud sales and manages its evolving partner ecosystem.

SAP has named Karl Fahrbach, previously the chief operating officer for the company's Global Partner Organization, to be the software giant's new channel chief.

Fahrbach takes over from Rodolpho Cardenuto, who as president of the Global Partner Organization was SAP's previous channel chief. Cardenuto left SAP late last year to become senior vice president of sales at Magic Leap, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based startup developer of augmented reality technology, according to his LinkedIn page.

Fahrbach is taking on the title of "chief partner officer," responsible for "evolving partner commercial models to intensify partner innovation, platform adoption and the sale of cloud solutions with partners across all customer segments and markets," the company said in a statement.

[Related: Three SAP Partners Recognized For Cloud Applications, SMB Sales Growth]

Fahrbach has been with SAP for 13 years. Before serving as COO of the Global Partner Organization, he led the vendor's VAR channels operation.

SAP has been transitioning from selling on-premises software to offering its ERP and CRM applications, business analytics software and other products through the cloud. That has led to changes in SAP's channel strategy, working with a wider array of reseller, systems integration and consulting partners and developing new partner models such as the PartnerEdge Cloud Choice program with "profit" and "referral" options.

In addition to the announcement of Fahrbach's appointment, SAP has launched an initiative to help partners innovate and develop their own intellectual property on the SAP cloud platform. The company said the new strategy "frees SAP partners from strict resale and implementation activities and offers them a broader role in helping customers become intelligent enterprises."

"SAP and our partners are absolutely focused on identifying new opportunities with customers by moving from SAP-led application value to partner-led customer innovation," said Adaire Fox-Martin, the member of SAP's Executive Board to whom Fahrbach reports. "We are setting the foundation that will enable SAP partners to contribute more value to the future of business through our technology."

SAP cited an IDC estimate that SAP's partner economy is about $100 billion, a number that's projected to double over the next five years with more than 60 percent of that business in the cloud.

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