SAP boosts partner profits with Build and Sell program

Looking to both create a new revenue stream for its partners as well as accelerate its strategy of getting more vertical-customized analytical tools into the hands of customers, business software vendor SAP (NYSE: SAP) recently launched its “Build and Sell” program.

The program enables SAP partners to build, market and sell analytic applications based on SAP’s BusinessObjects portfolio. Partners that have developed a vertical expertise around a customized and repeatable analytic program can grow their revenue by allowing the solution to be resold by other partners, and other partners can avoid re-inventing the wheel by re-selling an analytic offering already tailored for their market.

The program is being driven by a number of trends the vendor has observed said John Wilkinson, vice-president, business analytics, global ecosystem and channels with SAP. The budget for analytics is no longer held by the CIO but is fractured in lines of business across the enterprise, and when buying they’re looking for a deep knowledge of and specialization in their specific line of business.

“When talking to a head of human resources, they expect us to come to the table with an understanding of their challenge running an HR department, and a solution,” said Wilkinson. “We can’t talk technology. We need a solution, with a set of pre-built reports and dashboards that operate from a common data model and made it easy for the line of business head to see what they’re getting. Pre-built means lower total cost of ownership, with best-practice thinking built in.”

Many of SAP’s Business Objects partners have already adopted this sales approach based on pre-built applications, said Wilkinson, and many have developed specialties, but their pre-built analytics would only be available to those companies that partner touched. The SAP program aims to give partners in other countries that play in that vertical access to the same practices and analytical thinking.

To make it happen, SAP is facilitating a marketplace. The originating partner owns the intellectual property, and for a fee (around $5000 for three years) SAP certifies the solution. It needs to meet SAP specifications, and be delivered with sales, pre-sales and consulting materials so re-selling partners can fully understand the solution and explain it to their clients. The package must also include pre-built marketing campaigns to help partners bring the solution to market. It’s then publicized in SAP’s partner and marketing portal as well as its public “EcoHub” with other pre-built applications.

“We’re trying to continue to grow the value of SAP to our channel,” said Wilkinson. “They can choose the partners they sell to, so they’re not selling to competitors.”

SAP hopes to both increase net new customers through this approach, as well as help new partners ramp-up faster. The originating partner can expect to have some remote involvement with the first implementation by a new partner understanding the nuances, but Wilkinson said with the written materials they’ll be up to speed quickly.

The Build and Sell program launched in July after a six month pilot, and is now available to any partner that wants to join on either the build or sell side.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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