SAP overhauls Canadian leadership

The face of SAP in Canada has changed, with the departure of Mark Aboud as the managing director of SAP Canada and defacto president of the subsidiary.

Aboud ran SAP Canada for close to six years and was been responsible for many successes, such as reaching and surpassing the 1,000 customer milestone for the region. He also led the charge to establish R&D centres in Montreal and Vancouver, as well as one solely for Research in Motion, one of SAP’s top Canadian customers.

Aboud is leaving the Canadian operation for a global role in SAP leading the global sales business. Replacing Aboud will be another Western graduate, Bob Elliott, was previously the senior vice-president of sales for the company. Elliott brings with him extensive channel experience, as he was formerly the head of alliances and global partners for i2 Technologies before joining SAP.

One of Elliott’s first mandates will be to increase technology investments in Canada. He said that research shows Canada is lagging behind the U.S. in terms of technology investments and that it’s making Canadian workers, and the country, less productive as a result.

“My mission is to take full advantage of our great solutions and the opportunities that cloud, enterprise mobility and real-time analytics offer, and continue to grow our Canadian market share. Our focus will be on providing Canadian businesses with the insights they need to run their companies more competitively on the global stage. It’s an excellent time to be in this position. The cloud and digital revolution is making our business more exciting than ever. What we offer businesses today goes beyond software; we’re putting real time data in the hands of their customers. As a result, we are improving how they work and compete. I want to continue our long tradition of working with Canadian companies to help make their business smarter, faster and better,” Elliott said.

That may have been the biggest change at SAP Canada. But it wasn’t the only one. On an interim basis, SAP Canada channel chief Mary Peterson will get a more prominent role replacing the outgoing Mike Cardiff, who was the national vice-president of general business for SAP Canada. Peterson will now be handling Cardiff’s duties as well as her own as the national director of channels.

SAP is making these changes as it transforms itself into a company that can support customers in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid model. In the last 18 months, SAP has acquired many cloud customers in Canada through the multi-billion dollar purchases of SuccessFactors and Ariba. Add to that SAP’s new offering of Hana in the cloud and this isn’t SAP of yesteryear.

In his 25-year career, Aboud has held numerous executive and sales management titles with high profile IT vendors such as Siebel Systems, Xerox, and Digital Equipment Corp. Prior to joining SAP Canada, Aboud was a senior executive at Oracle Canada. While at Oracle, he ran OracleDirect in North America.

Aboud is a member of Volunteer Canada’s Corporate Council on Volunteerism and the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of the Information Technology Association of Canada in Ontario (ITAC Ontario).

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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