Excerpted from Andy's Profile featured in the September 2008 issue of The Silver Bullet published by SAP for internal circulation.
by Richard Buchanan, The Silver Bullet, September 2008
Andy Dé speaks five languages and has three Masters degrees on scholarships from three countries. He's a gourmet cook and connoisseur of exotic cuisine. He's a poet, a photojournalist and an amateur disk jockey. He has lived and worked in five different countries on three continents.
Andy is SAP's Global Head of Solutions Strategy and Marketing for Healthcare and Life Sciences. Based in SAP Labs' Dallas office, he's responsible for helping SAP learn about, and sell to, pharmaceuticals, biotech firms, and medical-device and equipment companies, as well as healthcare providers.
Andy's job is to actively engage with customers, industry analysts and academic thought leaders to provide insights to SAP Industry Solutions Management and field personnel on everything from specific customer needs to major industry trends and emerging business processes, to enable the vision, strategy, direction and roadmap for SAP's innovative solutions portfolio of enterprise applications software for the Healthcare (providers) and Life Sciences (pharma, medical devices and equipment and bio-tech) industry.
As well, he assists sales efforts by collaborating with solutions managers to deliver thought leadership and core messaging and positioning through presentations and meetings with prospects, is one of SAP's key executive spokespersons with analysts, press and media for Healthcare and Life Sciences and he helps his field-marketing colleagues plan and execute on their new business initiatives to deliver closable pipeline to enable deal closure.
"Part of my job is tactical – supporting demand generation for the field, for instance," he says. "And part is strategic, where I'm helping SAP and its life-sciences partners work on future innovation. I like taking both points of view – tactical and strategic – at the same time. Overall, I look at my mission as leading innovation to revenues from vision and strategy to execution."
His passion for education bears this out. Andy's first two degrees, a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bombay and a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida, gave him a solid technical foundation.
"But I felt as though I wanted to get a bigger picture," Andy says. "I wanted to learn about finance, marketing, and business in general, to be able to see the forest through the trees." His next two degrees gave him that perspective: an MBA in International Business from Israel's Tel Aviv International School of Management and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
Early in his career, Andy held marketing management positions in several companies, and a management-strategy consulting leadership role for a Canadian firm. In this role, he authored a case study on Rhode Island-based CVS Corporation, and this piqued his interest in life sciences. This led him to Dallas, Texas, to lead solutions marketing for i2 Technologies' Supply Chain Management (SCM) applications software targeting consumer products, hi-tech, and life sciences. Then, in 2003, Andy joined SAP.
He was brought on board to help SAP ramp-up its manufacturing solutions. Andy and his team also managed the 2005 acquisition of Lighthammer Software Development Corp., which produced the SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII) solution. SAP MII was an important step toward moving SAP further into the manufacturing market and one of SAP's three most successful acquisitions in the last ten years. He was promoted to his senior director position in 2006.
Outside his work at SAP, Andy pursues what he calls his "many passions," which include everything from cooking to poetry. Andy is also a respected and prolific blogger on life sciences and healthcare, and has established himself as a thought leader in the space. This, in turn, boosts SAP's own thought-leadership positioning in the life-sciences market.
Lots of people blog, and many business people claim to be thought leaders, but Andy really does, and really is. His blogs take an in-depth look at industry trends, raise pertinent issues and concerns, and offer solid solutions. His writing is often referenced by widely respected organizations and publications. Recently the Washington Post quoted from two of his blogs, as did the 2008 Personalized Medicine Conference held at the Harvard Medical School. Andy also contributes to the Life Sciences blog on the SAP Business Process Expert community.
Andy's passion for exotic cuisine also inspires him to author a blog that recounts his culinary adventures around the world. He authors Andy the Foodies Paradise and is a globally syndicated blogger (featured publisher) on Foodbuzz, the largest online community of foodies worldwide.
"I'm very fortunate," he says. "I'm passionate about many things, and I've been able to pursue many of these passions."
Andy says one of his missions in life is to play a part in making healthcare more accessible and affordable for patients across the world, through improved business processes and smarter technology. He says this was his reason for coming to SAP – the company's track record and promise as a leader in business software.
He's also passionate for his family: his wife of 19 years, Sanchita, and his ten year old daughter Uma. You might wonder how, with all he does, Andy manages to set aside quality time to spend at home. Andy says it's simple.
"I like to pursue my passions, but I also want to keep a balance between work and play," he says. "So I strive to balance my career with quality time for my family, my personal health, and my other passions. I love it when I'm studying with my daughter at night and she falls asleep holding my hand. To me, that is happiness manifested, my reason to live, and cause to look forward to another day."