SAP Creates Ecosystem for Nonpartner ISVs, Consultants and Integrators

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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SAP's new Extended Business member program is designed to create an ecosystem for SAP's nonpartner ISVs, consultants and integrators. The program lets SAP channel partners host other VARs that are not already SAP Partner Edge program members. The Extended Business member program allows members to gain business without paying SAP's Partner Edge fee.

Do you sometimes work with SAP customers but not enough to merit paying the 2,400-euro SAP channel partner fee? Or do you work with SAP so much that you need to outsource some of the work to other qualified solution providers?

For partners who answer "yes" to either of those questions, SAP has a new plan. SAP has created a program that empowers SAP's channel partners to create partnerships with non-SAP partners.

Called the Extended Business members program, these non-fee-paying partners get a password and a user ID and then have their SAP partnership hosted by another SAP channel partner VAR, says Pat Hume, senior vice president of integrated channels and SME at SAP.

The program acknowledges that SAP partners already partner with other VARs.

"We went in and asked partners how they grew their businesses—how they ensured [that] they had adequate coverage," Hume says. "They said to us, 'We build an ecosystem just like you do. We partner with partners.'" Hume adds that partners said the structure would work even better if SAP legitimized it.

Extended Business members are sponsored by SAP channel partners and are provided with a terms and conditions sheet to sign. A new member is given a password and user ID, says Hume.

"They do not have a commercial relationship with us," she says. "They don't buy from us and they don't resell. We're not asking them to sell, we're asking them to smell for deals."

SAP is providing SAP channel partners that want to participate as Extended Business member hosts with several templates and tools to help with the process of bringing those EBM members onboard, including different business models such as revenue sharing or outsourcing.

SAP's goal for 2008 is for 100 VARs to participate in the program and for those to go on to recruit 500 Extended Business Members. Currently SAP claims 40 participating VARs and 138 Extended Business Members.

"Some people are very selective and timid [about joining vendor programs, reluctant] to come in and swallow the whole till," says Hume. "This gives them a new inflection point.

"Other times we have [had] some Associate Partners who joined the program but haven't been as successful as they had hoped. They can step from the Partner Edge program to the Extended Business partner program."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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