10 Reasons to Partner on Cloud

 Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

SAP recently expanded its PartnerEdge program to provide more incentives and support for partners to start selling cloud solutions. Find out how you can offer cloud first to your customers.

SAP is working hard to make the partnering experience as easy and predictable as possible. New campaigns from SAP PartnerEdge, like Partnering Made Easy, support partners in getting the information they need to grow their SAP business and drive customer satisfaction.

In this same spirit, SAP PartnerEdge recently expanded its award-winning services portfolio to provide a new range of services and support for partners seeking to enter the rapidly expanding cloud market. Since launching its new cloud strategy in May 2012, SAP has infused the DNA of SuccessFactors to create the most comprehensive portfolio of cloud solutions in the industry. Now SAP PartnerEdge offers targeted, market-oriented services with additional business and technical support geared to making it easier and more profitable for SAP partners to realize the benefits of selling cloud solutions. This is available for partners from many different solution backgrounds – such as SAP Business ByDesign, SuccessFactors, SAP on-premise, and other existing SAP partners.

A smooth transition to cloud

“We want to make this transformation for SAP partners to be able to offer cloud solutions as easy as possible,” says Boris Goebel, SAP global partner program director for SAP Cloud. “That means we are extending the existing partner program to add cloud-specific benefits for cloud partners. We’re leveraging exactly the same (PartnerEdge) partner contracts and system infrastructure to make it as smooth as possible for our partners.”

Goebel emphasizes the need for qualified partners to address this competitive market. He says, “Right now if you don’t offer cloud first to your customers, you may have a problem – because customers across all segments are increasingly seeing the benefits and the value of cloud offerings and your competitors out there are realizing this already.”

That’s not the only reason partners should consider the cloud. Click here to learn 10 good reasons to get started with SAP’s cloud offerings.

The business model for cloud solutions presents new economic considerations for partners that they likely have not previously encountered with other software solutions. SAP has taken these factors into consideration and built in appropriate mechanisms into the SAP PartnerEdge program so that partners can move into the market quickly and confidently. “With everything we do, we think about the partner economics and the partner cash flow – the partner business model,” says Goebel. “There are some specifics to the cloud business that are just fundamentally different.”

For service partners, this means they will need to rethink their service delivery model, as well. With cloud offerings, consultants and delivery teams can deliver most of the activities remotely, thus allowing them to work on several projects in parallel. “It will not be unusual for the consultants implementing cloud offerings to work on four to six projects during the same time period,” says Goebel. This brings additional economic advantages to service partners, as he points out. “This technical resource deployment pattern has the net benefit of allowing a good mix of senior and junior resources to be assigned to projects. Ultimately, this staffing blend will improve utilization, possibly leveraging onshore and offshore resources for defined activities and resulting in higher profitability in implementation projects.”

Business models suited to cloud

Before moving into the cloud market, however, partners are advised to take a good look at their current business models and decide if they are suited to cloud, for example, in terms of domain expertise, cloud’s deferred revenue patterns, and executive commitment. Learn more about these considerations in SAP Business Trends.

Here are 10 compelling reasons to partner with SAP on cloud:

1. One contract enables a partner to sell all of SAP’s cloud solutions. Existing partners will also need to be reseller authorized. Once the authorization and a cloud-specific contract addendum are in place, they are ready to sell.

2. Payment in arrears, taken at the end of each quarter, makes it possible for partners to align their payments with the subscription-based business model of cloud. If partners wish, they can still ask customers to pay one full year in advance for their cloud subscription.

3. Market development funds (MDFs), in proportion to deal size, are available for demand generation and to offset customer acquisition costs. And, even better news: SAP continues to pay into the partner’s MDF account each time the customer’s subscription is renewed for the duration of the customer contract. “That means the more subscriptions you sell, the bigger your marketing budget will be for the years to come and you can already plan with it,” says Goebel. “We are not only rewarding the sell, we are rewarding the fact that the partner keeps the customer happy.”

4. SAP also offers additional support for demand-generation campaigns and marketing opportunities through the SAP Virtual Agency and designated marketing services bureaus. To learn more about the available marketing tools and resources, see sappartneredge.com.

5. Partners receive support from specialized SAP Cloud solution consultants in closing their first deals. SAP Cloud’s global team of pre-sales consultants is available to ensure the success of the partner’s early deals, as well as enablement on SAP Cloud products.

6. SAP makes a Cloud End-User License Agreement between the customer end-user and SAP. New for SAP, this relieves the partner of the middle-man responsibility for hosting and SLAs, giving partners the breathing space to focus on fulfilling their other obligations to customers.

7. For cloud, the usual Level I requirements (like reseller authorization) are still there, but also Level II & III certifications are available to give partners the opportunity to distinguish themselves as specialists in cloud solutions.

8. As with other programs, SAP now offers its Validated Expertise certification for cloud, as well. This is SAP’s formal recognition that a partner has achieved certifications and has done successful projects with customers. The certification can be prominently displayed on the partner’s Web site.

9. SAP makes its software-development kit, SAP Solutions OnDemand Studio, available to partners. This means all partner types – not only ISVs, but now also SIs and VARs – can leverage the SAP ByDesign and SAP NetWeaver Cloud platforms to build their own IP, giving them the possibility of also becoming platform partners.

10. SAP has introduced new services and programs to get partners up to speed on its complete cloud offering. This new enablement portfolio from SAP Partner Service Delivery gives partners the means and onboarding support to quickly ramp up on the processes, systems, and enablement platforms they need to effectively launch their cloud business.

Get in touch via cloudPartners@sap.com to learn more about the cloud partner value proposition, or reach out to your SAP partner account manager, who can talk to you in greater detail about SAP’s partner program for cloud solutions and work with you to reach a decision that makes sense for your business, so that you can start talking to your customers today about SAP cloud solutions. You can also learn more at the upcoming Business Fit Webinar on April 18, 2013.

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