How much product managers are paid at enterprise giants like Oracle, Cisco, VMware, SAP, ServiceNow and Workday — and how the job is evolving (ORCL, CSCO, VMW, WDAY, NOW, SAP)

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  • Product managers play a central role in enterprise tech, and typically take the lead in planning, troubleshooting and rolling out new products.
  • Their job has evolved dramatically with the rapid growth of cloud computing, and the emergence of new technologies, such as AI and big data.
  • Here’s how much Oracle, Cisco, SAP, Workday, ServiceNow and VMware pay product managers, based on disclosure data for permanent and temporary workers filed with the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification in 2019.
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Product managers play such an important role in tech that Silicon Valley investor Ben Horowitz once argued that “a good product manager is the CEO of the product.” 

The statement sparked some debate, although there’s little disagreement about the importance of product managers in the technology industry.

Product managers are deeply involved in pretty much every key step in rolling out a new product, from the planning to troubleshooting to figuring out how to get customers to buy it.

The job has become even more critical in the enterprise tech market which is undergoing a dramatic transformation with the rise of the cloud, and the emergence of cutting edge technologies, including AI and big data analytics.

“In today’s era, the product manager job is more critical than ever,” IDC President Crawford Del Prete told Business Insider. “The function of managing the product development, delivery and support is critical in today’s market.”

He cited the rise of “as a service” products which allow businesses to access different tools, including applications, data storage and even platforms, based on a subscription or on usage. It’s a system that typically features “a steady stream” of products and features, instead of “big version announcements” which requires product managers to be more nimble and to have a clearer sense of product roadmaps, he said.

The product manager’s job is expected to become even more challenging in a work from home economy, Eric Hunter, a senior director at Gartner, said. More businesses are looking to set up their networks in the cloud, even as they require more and new tools to manage a remote workforce.

“Product managers have significantly adapted how they manage their strategic roadmaps and in how they relate with delivery teams as a result of the cloud,” he told Business Insider. “COVID requires product managers to be even more effective leaders.”

That’s why it’s not at all surprising that product managers are among the top paying roles in tech.

Business Insider analyzed the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s 2020 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers to find out what five major enterprise-tech giants — Oracle, Cisco, VMware, SAP and Workday — pay product managers.

Companies are required to disclose information such as salary ranges when they hire foreign workers under the H-1B visa program, giving insight into what these major companies are willing to shell out for talent. Note that for some positions, the companies involved only gave salary ranges, rather than specific figures.

Here’s how much these top enterprise-technology companies paid product managers hired in 2020:

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