One of the most important videos Jon shot at the SAP Partner Summit 2013 was this interview with Tom Schwab, VP Business Development at HCL Technologies.

There were a couple of key takeaways: one is the impact cloud is having, not from the keynote stage, from from HCL’s own customer base. The second is clearing up some misconceptions around MCaaS, SAP’s Managed Cloud as a Service offering. Tom was in a perfect position to clear that up, as HCL has been a part of a couple of the biggest MCaaS customer deals to date (for more on the summit and MCaaS, check out Jon’s diginomica piece on SAP’s partner paradox.)

During the shoot, Tom shared two MCaaS HCL successes with revealing use cases. One was a company moving into the US market with multiple acquisitions. They wanted to move away from an array of legacy systems to one platform. They wanted SAP Business Suite apps but also additional application services (like BPO) bundled together and delivered as a service.

As Tom puts it:

That was a classic example of a net new customer looking at SAP and saying, ‘We like the platform, but we also want to run the business services around SAP.’ We were able to provide them an end‑to‑end service, start to finish.

One compelling quote came from the serious change Tom is hearing from his own customers.Tom relayed an anecdote with a CIO that should serve as a wake up to just how fast these changes are moving:

I’ve met with CIOs around the country who, one CIO from a very large organization told me he never wanted to buy a piece of licensed software ever again. The model moving forward has to be options for some type of cloud offering. Even to the point of a hybrid mix where some of these large customers still have that SAP license asset in‑house. But everything that they’re buying from here on out is in the cloud.

That’s a wake up call if we’ve ever heard one.

Show Notes:

:20 What is “Managed Cloud as a Service”?

1:04 The skinny on HCL’s early MCaaS deals

2:35 Another MCaaS project story from HCL

3:14 Customers’ reactions to the MCaaS model

4:02 MCaaS not limited to HANA – HCL’s deals involve the core SAP Business Suite as a service

4:28 Challenges of becoming a cloud provider

5:18 Is the MCaaS model affordable enough for partners?

6:03 Cloud services aren’t about huge margins, but about building impactful relationships

6:15 CIO cloud reactions

7:29 “Install and walk away” doesn’t fly anymore

Disclosure: SAP paid most of Jon’s travel and accommodations to the SAP Partner Summit in Miami