SAP extends channel enablement strategy by providing partners with free access to SAP Cloud Platform

Free access to the Platform for testing, demonstration and development licensing services is now available to all SAP partners except for open ecosystem members. The goal is to increase their capabilities to design services on top of the SAP core.

Diane Fanelli, SVP & GM , Global Platform Channels, at SAP (R) with Meaghan Sullivan, SAP’s Head of Global Partner Marketing, at the SAP Partner Business Forum.

NEW YORK CITY – SAP channel partners will now have free access to the SAP Cloud Platform for testing, demonstration and development licensing services. It’s the latest move by SAP to further enable channel partners by giving them broader access to tools and resources, so that they can better develop their own IP on top of SAP, to fill in gaps and provide customized content for specific micro-verticals and local markets. The announcement was made on Thursday at the SAP Partner Business Forum 2018 here.

The SAP Cloud Platform is an open platform as a service [PaaS] designed to provide a single framework for SAP partners to build and extend on existing SAP solutions. Partners have had access to it previously, but there has been a cost to do so. However, since 2015, SAP has made building up their General Business segment – businesses with annual sales under a billion dollars – a top priority, and the focus has been getting the scalability needed to expand in this market through partners. That has included both an expansion in the number of partners, particularly those with a strong cloud focus, and activities designed to enable partners more effectively, such as the new SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions announced in the spring.

“We need our partners to build and exend these innovations,” said Diane Fanelli, SVP & GM , Global Platform Channels, at SAP. “This is the biggest opportunity for them to add to SAP’s portfolio and fill in those white spaces.” Fanelli noted the new initiative is an extension of measures like their SAP App Center, where over 1200 partner innovations are showcased.

“We are using more tools and technologies to make it a better process for the partner,” she said. “No longer charging for Dev and Test licensing is part of that, freeing up partner resources.” Another aspect of this is the digital focus, on small nimble products that snap in digitally, something where today enterprises are still looking more than they are buying, but which Fanelli said will soon change.

“Another element is that we are practising adoption before monetization with partner solutions,” she added. “We don’t charge ISVs for the money up front now. They build the solution, they take it to market, and when they sell it, they give SAP a piece of that.”

“We need to constantly make it easier for our ISVs to do business with us and build those applications,” Fanelli stressed. “It includes things that SAP won’t do because it’s a localized requirement. We have a partner who has developed a local customization of SuccessFactors for France, something that we won’t put into the global SuccessFactors solution.”

“For partners, we think the future is the App Store Model, where they develop additional functionality that based and compatible with the core, but which doesn’t touch the core, and which can be easily configured for each and every customer,” said Franck Cohen, President SAP Digital Core & Industry Solutions. “Doing things like algorithms that can do dynamic pricing for retail, for example, is so much more valuable than just touching the core and modifying the core with layers of customization. It’s criminal today to be ten years behind when we are creating so much innovation.”

The new SAP Cloud Platform initiative lets current SAP partners renew their subscription to the core SAP Cloud Platform for up to 12 months at no charge. New SAP partners can subscribe to one of the options of the core SAP Cloud Platform. In both cases, SAP partners can also choose one additional service (with up to 64 GB) provided by the SAP HANA business data platform for SAP Cloud Platform.

All SAP partners, with the exception of members of the open ecosystem, are eligible for the free access, Fanelli indicated.

“We are really excited about this announcement, both for existing partners and new partners,” said Marc Monday, SAP’s Vice President North America and Head of Channel Sales. “We have over 3,700 partners using it now. This will give more partners the ability to access our install base as well as access the power of the platform to accelerate application development for their customers.” That install base includes over 150 million subscribers to the SAP Cloud Platform.

“A key problem that customers have is that they are overwhelmed with data, but at the same time they are very limited in their ability to get insights from it.” Monday indicated. “That’s the opportunity for partners, to help them with this. And the free access to the platform will help them there.”

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