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New Options for SAP BTP

SAP BTP partners will now have access to a pay-as-you-go licensing option and a free tier of Business Technology Platform services,

Using the new licensing model and free tier of BTP services SAP partners will be able to demonstrate the platform’s services for customers with no cost. This will make it easier for system integrators to get their customers to choose SAP Business Technology Platform. Independent Software Developers will also find it easier to create software that integrates seamlessly with SAP.

SAP chief partner officer, Karl Fahrbach said: “This new licensing option makes it easier to get started with SAP Business Technology Platform. As partners increasingly leverage the platform, SAP aims to ease the financial component.”

Making the Most of BTP

The SAP Business Technology Platform is a group of products which, according to SAP “brings together intelligent enterprise applications with database and data management, analytics, integration and extension capabilities into one platform for both cloud and hybrid environments, including hundreds of pre-built integrations for SAP and third-party applications.” It uses cutting edge software technologies like blockchain, IoT, machine learning and AI.

Jagdish Sahasrabudhe, CTO for the SAP Global Partner organisation said that SAP had found that the previous licensing options of an enterprise agreement annual contract or a subscription licence had been seen as a barrier for partners when they were developing or implementing customer solutions:

“You buy capacity and then you figure out how you’re going to use that capacity, but you don’t always know what the final solution is going to be for the customer”.

Tailored Integrations

At the beginning of a customer project partners can carry out an assessment of what they will need, buy the capacity to cover that, design a solution and develop it. This ensures that their customers only pay for what is required. It also provides flexibility in pricing so that it is not a limiting factor in extending the customer’s system if their needs change.

This flexible pricing structure is more specific and more determined by the end user, whether the customer requires the whole suite of BTP products or just one. A database product will be charged according to the memory required, and an analytics tool might be priced based on the measured use of that service.

Some SAP Business Technology Platform products like SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, SAP Mobile Services, or the SAP Business Application Studio can be made available for free on a trial basis. There are currently 30 BTP products in the free tier and more will be added. This means customers can test the waters and see if it really is what they require before diving in. It also means that partners can test that their solution packages are the best fit for their customers and adjust them if they can be improved during the course of a customer engagement.

A Clearer Case For BTP

Karl Fahrbach pointed out how this translates into a new revenue streams for SAP partners:

“With SAP BTP, partners can move quickly to address the new cloud landscape. With this payment model, partners can have a lower barrier to create their own intellectual property on SAP BTP that answers specific customer needs and their specific industry knowledge.”

By lowering the barrier to entry into the SAP landscape and increasing the flexibility and modularity of SAP Business Technology Platform solutions, this new pricing structure removes customers’ up front financial investment and provides plenty of reasons to explore the SAP BTP landscape.

Learning to love SAP BTP

Anja Schneider, SAP senior vice president and chief operating officer for board area technology and innovation, pointed out some of the other benefits of the free tier when it was announced in July.

“The free tier model enables customers to the full capabilities of SAP BTP services to quickly develop and deploy productive applications for a specific use case. Developers can learn, understand, and try SAP BTP services while preserving a seamless path to productive use.”

Schneider identified three main pillars in the free tier model. Partners and customers gain hands-on experience and can explore the full capabilities of the free tier. Because the tier access does not expire but is limited by predefined capacity limits it is possible to continuously develop and accelerate business value from data, and only expand the capacity once it is required.

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Using the SAP community and the step-by-step guided missions customers and partners can familiarise themselves with the environment and build innovations for their own use when they are ready.

All work done in the free tier can be maintained when updating to a standard SAP BTP plan, ensuring that there is a smooth path from exploration to fully functional productivity.

SAP BTP for Everyone

It is important to emphasise that after listening to the needs of their customers and partners, SAP have chosen to make these new developments of the Business Technology Platform available to make SAP products more accessible.

This has profound implications for systems integrators making a business case for adopting SAP BTP. Their customers no longer have to gamble their investment on the recommendation of SAP partners, but can see functional added value and benefits to their business by adopting SAP BTP before making a commitment.

The opportunity to prove the benefit of the technology ahead of investment creates trust in the platform and alleviates some of the burden of educating customers as part of a customer engagement. It also means that customers will be more likely to take advantage of other parts of SAP BTP once they see it in action. In turn adoption of one part of SAP can lead to openness to integrate other SAP solutions as this will improve the efficiency of their whole ERP system.

So if you are in the business of implementing SAP solutions, SAP have just made your job a lot easier.

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