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专访思爱普CEO:美国拥有非常美好的未来

专访思爱普CEO:美国拥有非常美好的未来

Jonathan Vanian 2021年02月03日
对于柯睿安来说,去年是异常紧张的一年。

柯睿安,思爱普首席执行官。图片来源:Uwe Anspach—picture alliance/Getty Images

对于柯睿安来说,去年是异常紧张的一年。在2020年4月新冠疫情爆发期间,有一天晚上,柯睿安成为了思爱普唯一的首席执行官,而就在这天晚上,她的妻子生下了如今已有9个月大的女儿。

就像我们这些人一样,柯睿安不得不平衡工作(管理思爱普这家欧洲最大的科技公司,在全球拥有10万多名雇员)与生活中突如其来的惊喜。(柯睿安前联席领导詹妮弗•摩根在担任思爱普联席首席执行官7个月之后转而加入了投资巨头黑石集团。)

然而,眼里只有业绩增长的投资者对于家庭事务并不在意。他们密切地关注着思爱普持续的业务改造,其中包括将其供应链管理软件这一支柱业务和其他产品,转换为更灵活、现收现付的云端变体,相当于亚马逊的云服务AWS。类似的转型故事也正在其他一些老牌公司中上演,例如IBM、思科和慧与。

这个转型也出现过问题。10月,思爱普削减了其2020年营收展望,称原因在于客户削减了其对Concur商业差旅软件等产品的开支。此消息引发了投资者的恐慌,他们认为此举意味着思爱普的整体转型出了问题,公司股价因此大跌20%。

然而,思爱普并未放弃希望。上周三,公司推出了一款旨在提振销售的新软件产品。公司2020的销售额达到了273.4亿欧元(约合332.4亿美元),同比下滑1%。柯睿安说,新工具像其他云端软件一样通过订购销售,它帮助各大公司更好地分析了其客户订单跟踪等业务流程与行业标杆的差距。

在以下经过编辑的《财富》访谈中,柯睿安介绍了其对拜登政府的乐观态度,新冠疫苗接种的缓慢推进,以及为什么思爱普要选择这个时间来剥离旗下即将要开展IPO的调查制作工具Qualtrics。思爱普于2018年以80亿美元收购了这家企业。

《财富》:在10月,Salesforce首席执行官马克•本尼欧夫称,思爱普遇到了“大麻烦”。你怎么看待这个评论?

柯睿安:首先,当一位竞争对手评论另一家公司时,这意味着他真的很在乎这场愈发激烈的竞争。

回顾今年公司的业绩,我们看到云端业务增速很高。如果不计公司的差旅和费用业务,当然这项业务受到了疫情的冲击,那么我们的云营收实现了27%的有机增长。这个有机增长非常健康。本地业务[在内部企业数据中心运行的软件]正在稳步下滑,因为越来越多的客户转而采用云端业务。但这种转型十分正常。

你是否觉得当前经济已经恢复的差不多了,企业开支将上涨?

是的,实际上公司大多数业务都呈现出这一现象,唯一下滑的领域就是差旅。让我们看看公司资产组合的其他业务,例如,供应链是高度相关的。每一位首席执行官如今都在思考如何提升其供应链的韧性。

在你看来,哪些地区的经济正在恢复?

北美做的不错,韩国也是。我发现经济仍没有好转的唯一一个地区就是拉美。那里的很多国家受到了疫情的严重冲击。然而,我发现它们的IT支出根本没有下滑,反而是上升了。

你对德国新冠疫苗的接种有什么看法?

我刚刚与默克尔总理在线上世界经济论坛的虚拟会议中进行了会面,其中一个话题就是疫苗。疫苗的推广速度还是可以更快一些,因为每个人都在焦急的等待疫苗接种。

我们正在与医药公司合作,让制造供应链按照智能的方式更快地运转,从而交付具有合格质量的疫苗。我们知道原材料的产地,因为这些信息就储存在我们的系统中。对于我们来说,关键在于密切关注事态的进展,并确保系统能够正常运行。

新拜登政府对公司业务有什么样的影响?

初期的迹象真的很积极。美国有很多跨国公司都是我们的客户,而且其业务遍布全球。政治领域对于我们来说很重要,因为我们是自由贸易的绝对支持者。

我们需要一个全球化的数字基础设施。通用数据保护规则至关重要。美国和亚洲都应向全球化迈进,并让贸易伙伴回到4年前他们所处的位置,这一点真的很重要。

在欧盟,我们需要变得更加团结。每个国家依然存在着不同的法规,这一点对于在欧洲经商的企业来说并不是好事。我们需要通用的标准,尤其是在打造云基础设施方面更是如此。

在大洋彼岸看到国会山骚乱之后有什么样的想法?

很明显,当我在电视上看到这一幕时,我感到非常震惊。

如今在我看来,人们还是得向前看,我也希望美国能够成为一个整体。我认为美国拥有非常美好的未来。思爱普也需要美国的强大。

随着Qualtrics于周四上市,思爱普与其之间的关系会发生什么样的变化?

说到Qualtrics 首席执行官莱恩•史密斯,可能我给他发的短信以及交谈的次数比任何执行委员会的成员都多。

就首次公开募股而言,我无法透露任何具体数字,但我们曾宣布将调高定价,因为利息很高。周一,Qualtrics将股票的初始价格调高至27-29美元之间,而此前是22-26美元。股票已处于超额认购状态,我们也想知道发行当天会怎么样。

当2018年我们收购Qualtrics时,市场上出现了一些批评声音。然而,我们拿到了不俗的回报。过去两年中Qualtrics的营收翻了一番。一旦它上市之后,公司就能够自由地去追逐思爱普之外的市场,以及与其他公司建立合作伙伴关系。这是件非常好的事情,而且思爱普依然是该公司的大股东。

在思爱普看来,收购在其当前的策略中占有什么样的地位?

我们正在市场上进行筛选。一旦出现与当前资产组合互补的资产,而且这类资产能够明确帮助解决我们客户的一些需求,我们可能会采取一些行动。然而,这类资产从产品和客户的角度来讲必须适用。我们没有必要在当前为提升营收而去收购。我不会花费数十亿美元来加速公司的营收流。在我看来,它得适合我们的产品组合以及我们的客户。

思爱普此前设置了一个联席首席执行官运营模式。这种模式对于公司来说合理吗?

没有通用规则说联席首席执行官模式是行不通的,它绝对是可以实现的。

在疫情期间,局势变得越发困难,也在不断恶化。因此你得异常迅速地做出决策。你得照看好你的雇员。疫情爆发时,[前SAP联席首席官]简•摩根和我上任才几个月的时间,但我们必须拿出对策,照看好业务,而且还不能旅行。不是说坐在一起就能真的解决这个问题,真的很困难。

总的来说,如果大家有着明确的职责,而且分工也很明确的话,这种模式是可行的,而且业界也有一些好的案例,但也有一些失败案例,因此这真的取决于公司自身的局面。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

对于柯睿安来说,去年是异常紧张的一年。在2020年4月新冠疫情爆发期间,有一天晚上,柯睿安成为了思爱普唯一的首席执行官,而就在这天晚上,她的妻子生下了如今已有9个月大的女儿。

就像我们这些人一样,柯睿安不得不平衡工作(管理思爱普这家欧洲最大的科技公司,在全球拥有10万多名雇员)与生活中突如其来的惊喜。(柯睿安前联席领导詹妮弗•摩根在担任思爱普联席首席执行官7个月之后转而加入了投资巨头黑石集团。)

然而,眼里只有业绩增长的投资者对于家庭事务并不在意。他们密切地关注着思爱普持续的业务改造,其中包括将其供应链管理软件这一支柱业务和其他产品,转换为更灵活、现收现付的云端变体,相当于亚马逊的云服务AWS。类似的转型故事也正在其他一些老牌公司中上演,例如IBM、思科和慧与。

这个转型也出现过问题。10月,思爱普削减了其2020年营收展望,称原因在于客户削减了其对Concur商业差旅软件等产品的开支。此消息引发了投资者的恐慌,他们认为此举意味着思爱普的整体转型出了问题,公司股价因此大跌20%。

然而,思爱普并未放弃希望。上周三,公司推出了一款旨在提振销售的新软件产品。公司2020的销售额达到了273.4亿欧元(约合332.4亿美元),同比下滑1%。柯睿安说,新工具像其他云端软件一样通过订购销售,它帮助各大公司更好地分析了其客户订单跟踪等业务流程与行业标杆的差距。

在以下经过编辑的《财富》访谈中,柯睿安介绍了其对拜登政府的乐观态度,新冠疫苗接种的缓慢推进,以及为什么思爱普要选择这个时间来剥离旗下即将要开展IPO的调查制作工具Qualtrics。思爱普于2018年以80亿美元收购了这家企业。

《财富》:在10月,Salesforce首席执行官马克•本尼欧夫称,思爱普遇到了“大麻烦”。你怎么看待这个评论?

柯睿安:首先,当一位竞争对手评论另一家公司时,这意味着他真的很在乎这场愈发激烈的竞争。

回顾今年公司的业绩,我们看到云端业务增速很高。如果不计公司的差旅和费用业务,当然这项业务受到了疫情的冲击,那么我们的云营收实现了27%的有机增长。这个有机增长非常健康。本地业务[在内部企业数据中心运行的软件]正在稳步下滑,因为越来越多的客户转而采用云端业务。但这种转型十分正常。

你是否觉得当前经济已经恢复的差不多了,企业开支将上涨?

是的,实际上公司大多数业务都呈现出这一现象,唯一下滑的领域就是差旅。让我们看看公司资产组合的其他业务,例如,供应链是高度相关的。每一位首席执行官如今都在思考如何提升其供应链的韧性。

在你看来,哪些地区的经济正在恢复?

北美做的不错,韩国也是。我发现经济仍没有好转的唯一一个地区就是拉美。那里的很多国家受到了疫情的严重冲击。然而,我发现它们的IT支出根本没有下滑,反而是上升了。

你对德国新冠疫苗的接种有什么看法?

我刚刚与默克尔总理在线上世界经济论坛的虚拟会议中进行了会面,其中一个话题就是疫苗。疫苗的推广速度还是可以更快一些,因为每个人都在焦急的等待疫苗接种。

我们正在与医药公司合作,让制造供应链按照智能的方式更快地运转,从而交付具有合格质量的疫苗。我们知道原材料的产地,因为这些信息就储存在我们的系统中。对于我们来说,关键在于密切关注事态的进展,并确保系统能够正常运行。

新拜登政府对公司业务有什么样的影响?

初期的迹象真的很积极。美国有很多跨国公司都是我们的客户,而且其业务遍布全球。政治领域对于我们来说很重要,因为我们是自由贸易的绝对支持者。

我们需要一个全球化的数字基础设施。通用数据保护规则至关重要。美国和亚洲都应向全球化迈进,并让贸易伙伴回到4年前他们所处的位置,这一点真的很重要。

在欧盟,我们需要变得更加团结。每个国家依然存在着不同的法规,这一点对于在欧洲经商的企业来说并不是好事。我们需要通用的标准,尤其是在打造云基础设施方面更是如此。

在大洋彼岸看到国会山骚乱之后有什么样的想法?

很明显,当我在电视上看到这一幕时,我感到非常震惊。

如今在我看来,人们还是得向前看,我也希望美国能够成为一个整体。我认为美国拥有非常美好的未来。思爱普也需要美国的强大。

随着Qualtrics于周四上市,思爱普与其之间的关系会发生什么样的变化?

说到Qualtrics 首席执行官莱恩•史密斯,可能我给他发的短信以及交谈的次数比任何执行委员会的成员都多。

就首次公开募股而言,我无法透露任何具体数字,但我们曾宣布将调高定价,因为利息很高。周一,Qualtrics将股票的初始价格调高至27-29美元之间,而此前是22-26美元。股票已处于超额认购状态,我们也想知道发行当天会怎么样。

当2018年我们收购Qualtrics时,市场上出现了一些批评声音。然而,我们拿到了不俗的回报。过去两年中Qualtrics的营收翻了一番。一旦它上市之后,公司就能够自由地去追逐思爱普之外的市场,以及与其他公司建立合作伙伴关系。这是件非常好的事情,而且思爱普依然是该公司的大股东。

在思爱普看来,收购在其当前的策略中占有什么样的地位?

我们正在市场上进行筛选。一旦出现与当前资产组合互补的资产,而且这类资产能够明确帮助解决我们客户的一些需求,我们可能会采取一些行动。然而,这类资产从产品和客户的角度来讲必须适用。我们没有必要在当前为提升营收而去收购。我不会花费数十亿美元来加速公司的营收流。在我看来,它得适合我们的产品组合以及我们的客户。

思爱普此前设置了一个联席首席执行官运营模式。这种模式对于公司来说合理吗?

没有通用规则说联席首席执行官模式是行不通的,它绝对是可以实现的。

在疫情期间,局势变得越发困难,也在不断恶化。因此你得异常迅速地做出决策。你得照看好你的雇员。疫情爆发时,[前SAP联席首席官]简•摩根和我上任才几个月的时间,但我们必须拿出对策,照看好业务,而且还不能旅行。不是说坐在一起就能真的解决这个问题,真的很困难。

总的来说,如果大家有着明确的职责,而且分工也很明确的话,这种模式是可行的,而且业界也有一些好的案例,但也有一些失败案例,因此这真的取决于公司自身的局面。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

It has been an intense year or so for Christian Klein. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, Klein became the sole chief executive of SAP on the same night as his wife birthed their now nine-month-old baby daughter.

Like the rest of us, Klein has had to balance work—in his case, managing SAP, Europe's biggest tech company, which employs over 100,000 workers worldwide—with life’s sudden surprises. (Klein's former co-leader, Jennifer Morgan, left for the investment giant Blackstone after a seven month stint as SAP's co-CEO.)

But growth-fixated investors have little sympathy for family matters. They're closely scrutinizing SAP’s ongoing makeover, which includes converting its mainstay business of supply chain-management software, among other products, to more flexible, cloud-based, pay-as-you-go variants, a la Amazon Web Services. It's a similar story to the turnarounds now taking place at other old-school companies, like IBM, Cisco, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The transformation has had hiccups. In October, SAP cut its revenue outlook for 2020, citing reduced customer spending on products like its Concur business-travel software. Investors were spooked that the move signaled problems in the SAP’s overall revamp, and the company’s shares plummeted over 20%.

SAP isn't giving up hope though. On Wednesday, the company debuted a new software offering intended to spur sales, which declined 1% year-over-year in 2020 to €27.34 billion, or $33.24 billion. The new tools, sold via a subscription, like other cloud-based software, help companies better analyze how their business processes, like tracking customer orders, perform against industry benchmarks, Klein says.

In an edited conversation with Fortune, Klein discussed his sunny outlook for the Biden administration, the plodding rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, and why now is the right time for SAP to spin off Qualtrics, the corporate survey maker it bought for $8 billion in 2018, in an initial public offering.

Fortune: In October, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said SAP was having "significant troubles." What did you make of that?

Klein: First of all, when a competitor comments on another company, that's a sign that he really cares about the increased competition.

When you look at our numbers this year, we have seen high growth in the cloud. When you exclude our travel and expense business, which is, of course, suffering in the pandemic, our cloud revenue was up by 27% organically. We have very healthy organic growth. The on-premise business [software that runs in internal corporate data centers] is steadily declining, because more and more customers are shifting to the cloud. But that's a normal transformation.

Do you see the economy recovering enough so that corporate spending is going to go up?

Yeah, I see this in most parts of our business, actually. I see a decline only in one area—travel. Look at the other parts of our portfolio—for example, supply chain is highly relevant. Every CEO is now looking at how to make their supply chains more resilient.

Where in the world are you seeing economic recoveries?

North America is going well. Korea is going well. The only region I see the economy suffering is actually Latin America. A lot of countries were hit hard by the pandemic there. But I see no decline in IT spending at all. It's just the opposite.

How would you characterize the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in Germany?

I just had a virtual meeting with our Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of the virtual World Economic Forum and one topic we talked about was the vaccine. The rollout can always go faster. Everyone is desperately waiting to get the vaccine.

We are working hand in hand with pharmaceutical companies to make the manufacturing supply chain work faster and in an intelligent way to deliver the vaccine with the right quality. We know where the ingredients are because they’re sitting in our systems. For us, it’s key to have a close eye and make sure the systems are up and running.

How will the new Biden administration affect business?

The first signs are really positive. We have a lot of multinationals in the U.S. who are our customers, and they do business worldwide. For us, it's very important, on the political side, that we absolutely support free trade.

We need a global digital infrastructure. Common data protection rules would be very important. It's also really important that the U.S. and Asia move forward on globalization—getting trade partners back to where they were prior to the past four years.

In the European Union, we need to become more one union. There are still different regulations in every single country, and that hurts when you're doing business in Europe. We need common standards, especially when it comes to building out cloud infrastructure.

What were your thoughts watching the Capitol Riots from afar?

Obviously, when I watched TV and saw this scene, I was quite shocked.

For me now, it's about looking forward and hoping that the United States becomes one country. I believe the U.S. has a very bright future. SAP needs the United States to be strong.

How will the relationship between SAP and Qualtrics change as the company goes public on Thursday?

With [Qualtrics CEO] Ryan Smith, I probably text with him and talk to him more than with some of my executive board members.

With regard to the IPO, I cannot share any concrete numbers. But we announced that we are going to set the price higher because there's high interest. [On Monday, Qualtrics raised the initial price of shares to between $27 and $29 over the previous $22-to-$26 range.] We are oversubscribed. Let's see when it happens.

Back when we acquired Qualtrics in 2018, there was some criticism in the market. But it beautifully paid off. We doubled the revenue just in the last two years. Now Qualtrics will have the freedom, once it goes public, to go after the market outside of SAP and form partnerships. That’s all good, because we will stay the majority shareholder.

How does SAP view acquisitions as part of its current strategy?

We are screening the market. Whenever there is a complimentary asset to our portfolio that clearly helps solve some of the needs of our customers, we may make some moves. But, it needs to fit from a product and customer perspective. We don't need to buy revenue right now. I would not spend a few billion to speed up our revenue flows. For me, it just needs to be a fit to our product portfolio and for our customers.

SAP previously had a co-CEO operating model. Does it make sense for companies to have a co-CEO model?

There’s not a general rule that says the co-CEO model cannot work. It can absolutely work.

In a pandemic, it gets harder. It gets tough. You have to make decisions very fast. You have to take care of the employees. [Former SAP co-CEO] Jen Morgan and I were just a few months in when the pandemic happened. You have to work out a strategy. You have to take care of the business. You cannot travel. You cannot just sit together to really make that work. That was difficult.

In general, if the accountabilities are clear and if the roles are clear, it can work. There are a few examples out there where it did work. We also saw it not working in some other companies, but that really depends on the situation of the company.

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