by Tom Roberts, Senior Vice President, Partner Solution Success, SAP
In today’s unsure economic climate, it’s more important now than ever for organizations to work together as a community to reduce risks, help customers, and support each other to maintain business continuity.
SAP’s partners are answering the call as they securely integrate, enhance, and extend SAP solutions — turning to the cloud to innovate more rapidly, reduce costs, and answer the growing requests to support remote workers. By continuing to add their unique expertise to our core offerings, SAP partners are helping customers address challenges that we couldn’t tackle on our own and, as a result, are creating a trajectory to sustainable growth for themselves and customers.
Customers that are looking to overcome unique business hurdles not addressed by SAP solutions can turn to a growing network of partners. This vibrant community of partner applications represents best-of-breed solutions for our customers that deliver breakthrough ideas and apply intelligent technology across every line of business. This curated set of partner applications is available in SAP App Center, SAP’s marketplace where customers can engage with these innovative partner solutions.
Through SAP App Center, partners can gain exposure to over 440,000 SAP customers in more than 180 countries, spanning industries and regions running a breadth of solutions across every line of business. SAP offers partners a unique opportunity through a credible Top-20 brand to reach the decision makers tasked with overseeing their companies’ mission-critical data and applications. Conversely, with such a vast array of innovative partner applications available to SAP customers for discovery on SAP App Center, organizations have a unique opportunity to try and buy vetted and secure applications to extend their SAP solutions without worrying about integration, data, or system risks. With ease, they can find certified solutions to tackle detailed processes, address unique industry requirements, or apply intelligent technologies in new ways.
Introducing the Partner Solution Progression from SAP
The experience economy has changed the way businesses operate and compete; in today’s current business environment, there’s a “new normal” unlike anything we’ve seen before, and the importance of delivering great experiences simply cannot be overlooked. The solution a software company delivers is only one part of why people buy from them, work for them, and engage with their brand. Today, the total experience they offer drives decisions, loyalty, and lasting growth.
There’s not a single technology, solution, or provider that can support each part of the experience a company brings to all its customers and employees. That’s why nurturing our growing network of innovative partners that build applications to round out SAP solutions is so important.
Ecosystem innovations are essential to SAP’s vision and delivery of the intelligent enterprise, and partners are uniquely positioned to help us deliver on our vision and provide new innovations to our customers. This is why we are investing in the Partner Solution Progression from SAP, which enables our partners to innovate, get their solutions to market faster, and grow their business. Partners can take advantage of SAP’s proven solutions, reach an audience of engaged customers, and bring them the ideas and innovations they need. And together, we can take both our businesses to places we’ve never been before.
The Partner Solution Progression helps partners quickly scale by collaborating with SAP — from developing their application to identifying opportunities and showcasing their application on our global marketplace. SAP works together with partners through the journey, backed by marketing and sales support from SAP, on a flexible progression that best fits each individual partner’s application, plan, and priorities. Ultimately, the progression supports partners to:
- Open more doors
- Tap into the data that drives business
- Choose the best-fit path for partnership
Open More Doors
Through the Partner Solution Progression, partners gain entry to SAP App Center, a key point of access for SAP customers across industries that are looking to get the most out of their SAP solutions. With SAP customers representing 92% of the Forbes Global 2000 companies and 98% of the 100 most valued brands, partners have an opportunity to reach senior leaders with buying power from all lines of business, including finance, procurement, marketing, HR, IT, and the supply chain.
Tap into the Data That’s Driving Business
When partners build on and extend SAP solutions or infuse their applications with SAP technology, they are tapping into an engine that’s essential to global commerce. Accessing the foundational data and solutions that organizations use to manage their finances, employees, customers, vendors, and inventory enables partners to deliver applications that complement a customer’s SAP solutions and bring new value to the table.
According to recent research, SAP partners with a fully integrated digital strategy experienced 43% revenue growth in 2019, and the revenue opportunity for SAP partners is expected to double by 2024 to $202 billion. These facts reinforce how beneficial it can be for software organizations to join the 21,100-member SAP partner ecosystem.
Choose the Best-Fit Path
The Partner Solution Progression provides a flexible, easy-to-navigate path to help partners get their solutions to market faster. As Figure 1 shows, there are four steps to the progression for partner solutions:
- Validated: Partner solutions start here and are showcased to the world as vetted and secure solutions on SAP App Center.
- Spotlight: As the partner solution achieves success, the application earns its way to the next level to receive additional enablement and go-to-market support.
- SAP Endorsed Apps: Continued successful strategy, execution, and results can secure an invitation to receive premium certification, hightouch support from SAP, and collaborative sales planning with SAP’s executive sales team.
- SAP Solution Extensions: A select few applications will be eligible to be marketed, sold, and supported as an SAP-branded solution.
Figure 1 The Partner Solution Progression provides a flexible path for partners to bring their solutions to market quickly
As partners move through this next-gen progression, they gain additional support and solution certifications enabling them to reach a broader audience and market their solutions more effectively. Customers can discover, demo, and, in many cases, purchase these diverse options on SAP App Center — from validated applications to SAP Endorsed Apps and SAP Solution Extensions. The following sections will dive deeper into the premier offerings and how they can help organizations compete in the experience economy.
Innovate Faster with SAP Endorsed Apps
The SAP Endorsed Apps initiative is the newest addition to the Partner Solution Progression. Partner solutions are tested and premium certified by SAP — a level of certification only available to this category of solution — denoting a higher level of security and less risk for businesses. At this stage, solutions are put through added technical quality checks, the application code is analyzed, and custom recommendations are provided by the SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) for enhancing and optimizing the solution. (See the premium certification page for more details.)
SAP Endorsed Apps are available for trial and purchase at SAP App Center (see Figure 2). There, they are featured prominently with the SAP Endorsed Apps banner, among the more than 1,500 innovative partner solutions that enable customers to digitally transform their business.
Figure 2 SAP Endorsed Apps are available for trial and purchase at SAP App Center
Advantages of Achieving SAP Endorsed Apps Status
- Because of their proven success, each software solution in this curated group quickly delivers value and effectively produces results for customers.
- Customers can trust that the solutions are tested and premium certified by SAP to complement and extend SAP products, which means less risk to their organization.
- These solutions have demonstrated customer success receiving positive reviews, high ratings, and key business outcomes for customers, addressing a unique customer need.
- Partners benefit with access to a defined set of attributes provided by SAP’s Global Partner Organization (GPO), as well as support from the line-of-business and industry teams that assist with the go-to-market process — driving demand generation and joint selling opportunities.
- Apps in the initiative have increased trust and value with SAP’s endorsement.
- Partners receive elevated solution exposure and marketing support via SAP App Center.
Discover Next-Level Application Experiences with Strategic SAP Solution Extensions
Combining experience and operational data can help organizations fulfill the reality of becoming a more intelligent and best-run business. Since SAP released the first offering for SAP Solution Extensions 15 years ago, businesses have undergone significant changes in their consumer and employee experiences. The demand for high-quality products has given way to pleas for better convenience, more sustainable operations, and faster delivery. Now more than ever, exceptionally curated and trusted experiences are the expectation.
Staying competitive in today’s fluid and fast-moving experience economy is no easy task. When SAP customers have artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other intelligent technologies in their digital arsenal, they become intelligent enterprises that can accurately pinpoint nuanced opportunities for capturing consumer attention and loyalty.
With access to over 90 solutions, 50 million people trust solution extensions to advance and realize the full potential of every stage of their company’s digital transformation. SAP integrates these strategic, third-party solutions with SAP software to complement existing digital capabilities. Partners have this to say about their experience receiving an invitation to deliver a solution extension:
“SAP and OpenText have been close partners for over 25 years, working to bring market leading enterprise content management solutions to our joint customers. We are excited to see that SAP, through this new partner progression model, is creating even more ways for partners such as OpenText to deliver innovative solutions. We are proud to be in this together with SAP to help our customers navigate these challenging times.”
— Mark J. Barrenechea, OpenText CEO & CTO
For intelligent enterprises, solution extensions can connect experiences with operations in ways that drive significant value throughout the consumer, product, brand, and employee experience.
Drive connected experiences with SAP Solution Extensions for line of business processes:
- Business technology platform: Accelerate business operations and provide greater organizational agility by digitalizing and optimizing end-to-end processes.
- Customer experience: Stimulate differentiation and growth with continuous process innovation and delivery of exceptional customer experiences.
- Intelligent ERP systems: Unite business intelligence into one source of enterprise-wide truth while reducing data entry and processing costs. Businesses can digitalize and streamline standard financial management shared services while demonstrating regulatory compliance.
- People engagement: Engage employees through an exceptional experience of human resources (HR) interactions. Solution extensions can be integrated with existing HR applications to attract, develop, and keep the right talent.
Drive connected experiences with SAP Solution Extensions for industry processes:
- Industry-specific needs: Address needs that are distinct to the business and uniquely impact operations. Solution extensions address a broad set of processes and requirements for a wide range of industries.
Start Moving Through the Next-Gen Progression Today
In the current climate of uncertainty, it’s crucial for us to work together as a community to reduce risks, help customers, and support each other to maintain business continuity. The Partner Solution Progression is foundational to that support — enabling innovation, speeding go-to-market and opening new doors of opportunity that we can’t open on our own. Learn more about the new Partner Solution Progression and the SAP Endorsed Apps program here. Find more information about the solution extensions here.
Tom Roberts, Senior Vice President of Partner Solution Success, is leading the team that helps partners deliver their innovations to SAP customers and prospects. This includes SAP Solution Extensions which Tom built from the ground up to over a billion-dollar business for SAP. This new organization is focused on GTM success of partner solutions (and embedded SAP technology) across all business models, including direct sales and sales through SAP App Center.