“It’s important to me that innovative software from Germany is used worldwide.”
Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld, vice-chair of SNP’s supervisory board
Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld has been a member of SNP SE’s supervisory board as vice-chairman for several months. In the run-up to Transformation World 2019, we talked to him about how digitalization is changing entire industries and where he believes SNP’s strengths lie.
Mr. Kleinfeld, you are a member of an internationally experiencedand globally connected investor group at SNP SE. Why SNP exactly?
We are active at SNP because this is where two things converge – a fast-growing market and a technological approach that delivers high-performance software solutions for digital transformation. And don’t forget – SNP has a strong team and has been successful for 25 years. It’s always been very important to me personally that innovative software from Germany is used worldwide. I live in the United States, but at the same time, I have a strong bond with Europe and Germany.
From an international perspective, do you see different focal points when it comes to digital transformation?
We’ve all heard the saying before: the only thing constant in life is change! That applies worldwide. And large-scale digitalization is accelerating change. Business models are changing at record speed – regardless of whether you are in America, Asia, or Europe. More often than ever, companies are split up and then merged in a completely different way. This has to do with changing consumption and shopping habits and also with new technological capabilities in the industrial environment. Entire business models and industries are undergoing radical change. You can view this as a threat – or see many new opportunities in it. I believe that in the end, change primarily creates opportunities for those who are able and willing to recognize and take advantage of them. This certainly also applies to SNP.
This radical change has a direct impact on the IT landscapes of companies that operate around the globe.
It’s true that when an industry’s rules are being rewritten, it means that new software systems and different data structures will be required. Let’s not forget – the migration of legacy SAP systems to S/4Hana alone will lead to dramatic changes to data structures at hundreds of thousands of companies over the next few years.
Are data transformations the most difficult tasks facing board members and executives today?
Yes, that’s probably true. Based on my own experience as a CEO and also as a member of the supervisory boards of various companies, I can safely say that in many change processes, it’s often the necessary IT transformations that hold a critical position and are extremely challenging for those responsible. This is where enormous challenges lie in today’s business world. Companies are also under considerable time pressure, especially when it comes to M&A projects. Speed is also especially important because the world around us doesn’t stand still. Companies must remain competitive. You can’t ever say “we can’t touch anything else for the next 18 months.” Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens today on a regular basis with many large IT spin-offs. In addition, the SNP solution’s significant degree of automation results in exceptional precision during data transformation.
And this is exactly what an analysis of the projects carried out by SNP shows – SNP can also carry out highly complex IT transformations faster and more reliably than any other company (see diagram). In this way, SNP generates extraordinary value for customers and partners. A customer who understands this is also willing to share some of this value with us. I’m certain SNP will have many opportunities in the future to prove what this company is capable of.
Mr. Kleinfeld, thank you very much for your time.