Vice President Global Center of Excellence at SAP
Frank Wilde is a respected technology leader and a management consultant who is passionate about digital innovation. Wilde is a Vice President for SAP’s Global Center of Excellence, a role that sees him lead innovation with Fortune 50 customers to enhance customer experience, unlock new business models, and drive the adoption of innovative technologies such as 5G, edge services, AI and machine learning.
“I love solving problems and strategsing around technology and innovation,” he says. “When you factor in change management and drive a change that is sustainable, that’s when it gets really rewarding and engaging for me.” It’s an approach that has served Wilde well, where he and his Global Center of Excellence colleagues engage with customers using blue sky thinking, close collaboration and the building of longstanding relationships. “Helping those customers find their way around technology challenges is fundamental to the way we work,” he explains.
As a leader, Wilde is focused on people. Having worked his way through a career that has included software development, management consulting and a nine-year stint in the U.S. Navy, he is well versed in the importance of teamwork and leadership. “One of the most important things for me is to always take care of the people I work with, to invest in their success and make sure that approach is woven into the overall mission.
“When I think back to my time, for example, it was easy to sacrifice staff to accomplish a given project. The Navy gave me a different perspective - they referred to it as focusing on ‘your mission and your men’. With that in mind, a successful leader is all about making sure that what you accomplish, and the people that you accomplish it with, are given the support they need. It’s essential to get the work done in the best way.”
Technology, too, underpins Wilde’s career. At SAP he drives technology innovation for his customers. On the latest innovations, he points to 5G as having the potential to bring significant change: “5G represents a step function change in capability, it’s like jumping from a bicycle to a race car,” he says. “It allows you to pull together from the various threads that are digitally transforming industries - data, AI, machine learning and edge services - and build a platform for innovation.
“In the next 36 months, you’re going to see a watershed moment for 5G,” he states. “If I look to 2021-22, when customers are able to visualize the proof points we have demonstrated and the potential of edge services, data management and 5G woven together, then I see a strong case for why they should all have it high on their agenda.”
“It's very different recruiting people for something you're building from scratch, compared to recruiting for something that is already running.”