The other day I saw that SAP is doing a small push around their new “Best Built Apps” program by releasing a document called “SAP Guidelines for Best-Built Applications”. Many of us have been waiting for such a document for years, so I was happy to see SAP finally release it.
So far the marketing of these guidelines has merely been two blog posts on SDN (here and here). The URL provided in these two posts (SAP Guidelines for Best-Built Applications), as well as the link to the wiki with the document itself, tells me that the marketing will probably stay on the internet and within the community network.
My first thought was even though the community is a great place to start not all partners are even involved in the community and therefore seems to me as a misplaced effort to reach the masses in terms of these new guidelines. Will these guidelines help me be a better SAP partner? Will they help me be a better customer with more knowledge of how best to build applications within the SAP technology base?
What is in it for the ISVs when they follow these guidelines? For now these are just developer-focused guidance offered to ISVs that want to technically align their solutions with SAP’s direction. The applications built with these guidelines may not be labeled as “best-built applications” or even “best-built” in any way. Instead they may only refer to the use of the guidelines during the development effort (quote from the guidelines):
“We developed our application in accordance with SAP guidelines for best-built applications that integrate with SAP Business Suite.”
Really? So what exactly is the incentive here?
Wouldn’t it make more sense if the ISVs could market their applications as “best-built” apps as a reference to SAP’s “best run” marketing campaigns
As for the usual SME market neglect, SAP once again fails to see the importance, not only of the SME market as a whole, but of it’s SME partners and customers as well in my opinion. The “Best-Built Applications 2009” document is apparently merely a starting point and these will be expanded to cover more territory in the future. But the guidelines as they are today could easily have been extended to cover All-in-One too for instance. I can see that the integration with Business byDesign or BusinessOne has to be different, but why does that have to mean they cannot be released at the same time?
With the onset of the upcoming SAP TechEd events I’d venture to say that this is just the start and we can probably expect to see a massive launch of this new program during the upcoming Phoenix, Vienna, Shanghai and Bangalore events.
As a SAP Mentor, and as Craig Cmehil likes to refer to me, a “Community Influencer” I’ve decided that this program is too important to be just something added to the community but rather something that needs true marketing efforts and a broad, and I mean very broad reach to ensure that the partners and I mean all partners are informed. I am hoping we will be given the opportunity at the event in Vienna to speak with the head of the SAP Ecosystem and partner groups, Zia Yusuf, about this program and their plans to bring it out to all partners around the world in a speedy and efficient manner as wells our ability as partners to influence the content and future paths of the program.
Update: You can read the press release here.