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During SAP TechEd 2013 in Vegas, I had the chance to meet some SAP executives around the revamped SAP PartnerEdge program for Application Development.

Until recently, access to Development licenses was difficult and expensive. Surely, developer licenses of some SAP applications have been made available at SAP Community Network (SCN), but they were limited in scope (no access to SAP Business Suite for example) and somewhat difficult to be used (single developer user, short license period, renewals, etc.). Also, these licenses were always focused on trial of SAP software, much more than allowing companies to build solutions (for reselling purposes). In the specific case of SAP Business Suite, partners needed to enroll into the development partner program and buy licenses for the required developers. This was not cheap.

The SAP PartnerEdge program for Application development has been designed to address many of these limitations. Here are the details:

The program was built to promote Partner engagement in Application development. The goal therefore was to:

  • Provide Easy access to leading technologies;
  • Reduce the Cost barrier to entry;
  • Provide Fair Collaboration and Risk-Sharing;
  • Reduce complexity of engagement process (low to no-touch engagement);
  • Guarantee High degree of standardization/automation

Promoting Innovation

SAP now offers what is called Innovation Packs. Partners subscribe to the program at a cost between 2.5k and 3.5k Euros per year. This includes the first innovation Pack. Additional packs can be added at a cost between 0.5k (Most) to 1.5k (selected packs, like HANA Cloud Platform, that includes hardware provision at SAP Cloud infrastructure).

The list of Innovation Packs is as follows:

  • Application Integration – Ex: Includes SAP Netweaver and SAP Business Suite development licenses for ABAP Add-on development.
  • SAP HANA & Databases – For SAP HANA and other databases
  • SAP HANA Cloud Platform – Access to SAP HANA Cloud for SAP HANA Cloud Partner Applications
  • Mobile – Mobility solutions like SAP SMP
  • SAP Business Intelligence
  • SAP Business One

These packs include:

  • Global Agreement
  • Enterprise Support
  • Cloud Resources
  • Enablement
  • Application Reviews

What is not included:

  • It is a Partner B-Y-O-Hardware agreement (exception SAP HANA Cloud, as previously mentioned);
  • SAP Application Certification still requires a certification fee, though application reviews already grant access to the SAP Store listing of the app.

Promoting Revenue Generation

The strategy is focused on Partner engagement, transferring the possible revenues to a kind of Partner revenue sharing program that makes a lot of sense. Let the partners engage, let them innovate, it is not always that they succeed and target revenue when they do.

To help Partners market, SAP is leveraging its App Store. Partner solutions sold there will have a 15% license charge from SAP.

In case the partner goes to market stand-alone, SAP provides the option to resell restricted runtime licenses of the technologies needed, a percentage of the value of the application will be charged. This will depend on the technology.

Easy Engagement

SAP has replaced complex and long paper contract exchanges by a web procedure that can be easily done in minutes.

The website is

Here is an example of the steps required by a partner to enroll in the program.

Click on Sign up…

Here you can see the details of the innovation packages and what it includes.

It will bring you to a 5-step procedure to enroll.

Select the relevant Innovation Packs.

The next step is where you identify yourself;

The next step is where you provide details about your company;

Next step is where you document you app ideas so SAP can have a better understanding of what is planned to be built. That is done by Innovation Pack.

Last step is to confirm your selections.

I have not processed it to the end (I have not pressed SUBMIT) but I assume SAP will get back to me with a contract and next step instructions for software download and license management.


I believe this is a very positive move from SAP towards development adoption. Not only the process became much simpler, but also much more affordable. We should have a healthy increase in development partners. This will be very positive for all involved. A stronger application offering and stronger channel is very welcome.

What I still believe could be done to further promote adoption is around provisioning of applications and platform. Apart from the SAP HANA platform, that has it built in, the other offerings often require the partners to come up with hardware and perform the installations themselves, what could be long and costly. In my opinion, most, if not all, SAP applications for partner development should be made available as Amazon webservices instances (AWS) for provisioning in minutes.

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