The SAP App Store: A self-experiment
The idea of creating a marketplace for users and developers of SAP technologies is as obvious as it is compelling: The more than 400,000 customers of the Walldorf-based software giant need support - and often specific solutions - for the ongoing operation and expansion of their systems.
To this end, they are supported by around 21,000 partners worldwide who have developed products and extensions for the SAP Cloud Platform, S/4 Hana, the SAP Customer Experience portfolio, for SuccessFactors solutions or other SAP technologies.
Existing SAP customers can therefore find many best-practice solutions, connectors, and also very specialized solutions in the App Center and purchase them directly.
And the new, innovative sales opportunity also makes SAP partners like us rejoice! Our company's 25 best-practice tools - known as Snapware for short - have been enthusiastically accepted by existing SAP customers for many years, not least because they are simple and can be implemented by the customers themselves.
With the SAP App Center, the obvious question for me as a sales executive is: Why not "simplify" the sales process as well? The revenue split between SAP and Snap is a fair deal, and in contemplative moments of anticipation that are already setting in, I already seem to hear a never-ending "pling pling" of automatic order entries from the worldwide pool of potential customers.
So let's get to work! What needs to be clarified is which best-practice software is most suitable and what it takes to get into the SAP App Center. In any case, a basic prerequisite is the acquisition of an SAP Build Partnership, which secures my IP.
Then there's the test balloon question: with UID Check, Cash Register, X Invoice, Fiori Issue Reporter, Payment Terminal Connection, Maintenance and 19 other apps, I have a lot to choose from.
My decision falls on the Abap-based UID check. SAP offers the Application Readiness Check (ARC) to help. After the 60 required answers, I realize that certification is necessary (because of the Abap portion) for the highly coveted spot in the SAP App Center.
With the help of our dedicated SAP partner advisor, the following decision parameters can be determined: SAP namespace reservation (free of charge), certification and packaging with the SAP AAK, a kind of test kit (10,000 euros).
The packaging results in a redesign of the current Snapware version of the UID check - and thus we are 100 percent SAP-compatible. Extrapolation: With a Snapware product price of around 6000 euros, I have to sell this quite often to become positive here - a bit expensive for a "first attempt".
In terms of cost, the inclusion of a pure Fiori app is much more attractive - it is almost free of charge. But unfortunately, we - and our products - still live in an Abap on-premises-dominated SAP world.
We are entering a new round with Snapware Issue Reporter, a Fiori solution integrated with SAP Fiori Launchpad for simple message submission (e.g. Atlassian Jira).
The readiness check is completed much faster this time, and after just a few days SAP gives the okay - our application is worthy of inclusion. Next step: the "praise" of the app in the store.
The English-language necessities (texts, pricing models, videos, hardcopies) are quickly submitted to SAP for review. The pulse quickens once again when the release from SAP arrives.
The bets in the house are placed. Who guessed the sales correctly? Am I already hearing a swelling "pling pling" or is my hearing fooling me? Is the SAP App Center the innovative sales opportunity I was hoping for? We will see - we will inform you about the results of our experiment shortly!