SAP customers can now buy solutions directly from partners and centrally manage purchases, billing and vendor communications, as the tech giant brings third-party applications under one roof.
Revealed during the SAP Global Partner Summit in Orlando, customers can now discover, try, buy and manage partner solutions within a digital marketplace, following a string of updates to the vendor’s SAP App Centre.
“We are making it easier for our customers to find, acquire and manage great solutions from our broad ecosystem of strategic solution partners including startups, independent software vendors, and services and technology partners,” SAP general manager of global channels and platform Diane Fanelli said.
“We made SAP App Centre more compatible with our customers’ procurement processes and more robust for our partners to engage with SAP customers.”
With more than 1,300 partner applications, SAP App Centre is designed to allow customers to access new technologies across all SAP offerings, including SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Hybris, SAP Ariba, and SAP Analytics solutions.
From an enterprise marketplace perspective, two-tiered and enterprise-grade procurement and payment methods include SAP Ariba solutions for payment and support for global procurement with multi-currency, POs and credit cards.
In addition, Fanelli said the combination of SAP S/4HANA, SAP Cloud Platform and cloud line-of-business solutions from SAP along with the multiplier of the thousands of partner apps in the ecosystem provides support for bimodal architecture for "compatibility and agility".
“Customers and partners can reap the benefits of the SAP App Centre digital enterprise marketplace immediately,” Fanelli added.
“SAP Store remains the preferred place for customers to seamlessly buy and use software, content, education and services endorsed and sold by SAP in a completely digital, low-touch manner.”
While SAP Store remains the official channel for customers to buy and use offerings endorsed and sold by SAP, the SAP App Centre now acts as a consolidated digital marketplace for partner offerings.
Specifically, it provides customers with real-time access to new solutions, micro-services and plugins to extend SAP solutions.
“In the first generation of the SAP App Centre we focused on applications that were designed to run on SAP Cloud Platform,” SAP vice president of digital and partner marketing Steve Asche added.
“The SAP App Centre developed into great resource for customers who were looking for applications to extend their digital core.”
During this period, SAP continued to run other marketplaces, particularly those associated with cloud applications such as SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Analytics, Concur and SAP Ariba.
“The marketplaces continued to grow, and we uncovered a problem,” Asche acknowledged. “We had partners who developed applications that had to list and maintain their applications on multiple marketplaces.
“And we had customers who had to visit multiple SAP marketplaces to find what they were looking for.”
Starting with SAP SuccessFactors App Centre, the tech giant consolidated the SAP SuccessFactors marketplace into the SAP App Centre.
Furthermore, customers can now go to the SAP App Centre and see not only all the applications built for SAP Cloud Platform, but also all the applications that were built for SAP SuccessFactors.
“And our partners benefited as they didn’t have maintain multiple product listings,” Asche added.
Through the latest release of the SAP App Centre, Asche said the vendor is essentially “bringing all partner applications together under one roof”.
“We’ve listed our line of business solutions across the top line of navigation,” he explained.
“Interested in SAP Analytics apps? Simply click SAP Analytics. Interested in SAP Hybris apps? Simply click SAP Hybris.”
In addition, Asche said the unification helps provides customers with greater buying power, seen as a crucial factor in offering new levels of access to third-party applications built by the channel.
“We understand that large company procurement folks do not want to manage multiple points of entry and purchasing methods,” Asche added.
“They want to manage all the applications entering their organisations from a single point of contact and they want a unified marketplace that helps them do that.”