SAP is hoping to boost its resellers' business by hiring a swathe of new, younger staff in an effort to better help the channel understand modern tech and buying trends.
The vendor claims that customers' IT teams are fast becoming more populated with millennials – generally considered as those born between 1980 and 2000 – who have new demands on what IT they want and how they buy it.
SAP's UK channel boss Rich Phillips said the company is taking the shift seriously and hopes an influx of younger staff will help resellers too.
"We've got to be very particular about how we enable our channel partners to sell effectively to this new generation," he said. "They look for different things and they buy in a different way too. We're spending a lot of time and effort trying to work with channel partners to help them with sales skills and sales strategies to approach this new... marketplace."
He added that younger SAP staff are naturally more in tune with their fellow millennials working at customers organisations.
"In my team we are... making sure we hire some millennials," he said. "We're hiring individuals who are younger than perhaps [those] we would in the past. The key driver for me is that they get it. They think in that way that perhaps people who are a little bit older just don't think. We're trying to be creative to help our partners address the market."
On top of its recruitment drive, SAP recently outlined a new "buy now, pay later" scheme in which customers have two years to pay their bill but partners receive the cash from SAP within five working days.
The vendor claims the move gives cash back to partners that have been struggling to invest in recent years due to the economy.
SAP's global channel chief Kevin Gilroy said the decision to launch the scheme was based on extensive partner feedback.
"[We carried out a] very disciplined listening tour around the world," he said. "What do they need? What are key components that will unlock the SME space?
"[By] making IT a consumer-like experience that the millennials are demanding, the ‘buy now, pay later' programme is empathetic towards the P&L and extremely empathetic towards the balance sheet of our partners."
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View photos of last night's awards ceremony in London
View photos of all the winners from the 2018 Channel Awards
After a glittering awards evening in Battersea celebrating 25 years of the Awards, we are pleased to share the list of winners and judges' commended winners