UPDATE: With Barry Padgett leaving SAP, what’s next for new Intelligent Spend Group? [PRO]

Barry Padgett has left SAP only weeks after being named president of the newly created SAP Intelligent Spend Group (ISG), a combination of SAP Ariba, SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass.

Padgett had previously served as president of SAP Ariba, before being promoted to the new role as leader of the combined group. Spend Matters sources suggest he has accepted a new role as chief revenue officer for Stripe, a payments company, although this is unconfirmed at this time.

SAP’s Intelligent Spend Group told Spend Matters that Mike Eberhard, formerly president of SAP Concur, will take over for Padgett, at least as an interim leadership move. Eberhard had previously planned to “step back” from a daily role at SAP in Q3 to serve as an adviser. While on the surface, the move to promote Eberhard on a temporary basis may seem like a GE “moving around the management chess pieces,” type of maneuver, Eberhard has a unique foundation from which to sit on top of the combined organization at a pivotal time.

Not only has Eberhard had sales leadership experience and significant growing, global commercial responsibilities within Concur in the past decade, he brings leadership depth from other areas of procurement, payables and supplier management solutions earlier in his career. This includes holding previous P&L responsibilities for SAP Ariba, Xign, Peoplesoft and D&B.

Based in part on his diverse set of experiences in the “spend” universe, including P&L leadership within a number of different business cultures that sold to different economic buyers, we are enthusiastic about the selection of Eberhard as at least a temporary leader of the SAP Intelligent Spend Group.

But as Eberhard perhaps channels Constantine the Great, one of the great “uniters” of different factions in Roman history, he will nonetheless face a range of challenges on multiple fronts — internal and external — as SAP plans for simultaneous battles at the same time as it brings together three best-of-breed solutions under one roof, one that ideally represents more than just a united fighting commercial front.

Leadership Required on Simultaneous Fronts

The remainder of this research brief introduces some of the campaigns that SAP’s Intelligent Spend Business group will need to simultaneously embark upon if it is to align what is in the interests of customers and shareholders over the long term. We see three main fronts that SAP must target at the same time.

Before exploring these, we should note that Padgett left the SAP Intelligent Spend Group before having a chance to substantively make a mark on this newly created business unit. His departure at a formative, pivotal moment gives the opportunity to Eberhard (and/or a future leader) to chart a course for the future of a common SAP Ariba, SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass at a time in which all three former independent operating units face new dynamics.

PRO subscribers can read more about the three fronts that SAP faces.

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