SAP ICC Celebrates 25 years Of Enabling Partner Ecosystem Innovation
The SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary — having opened up the world of SAP solutions to thousands of software providers, benefiting countless customers worldwide.
Founded in 1996, SAP ICC part of Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services team has grown steadily to become a global operation, playing a pivotal role in the success of the SAP partner ecosystem. To date, close to 14,000 certifications have been awarded to solutions coming from over 4,000 SAP partners over the course of 25 years. In turn, the “SAP Certified” designation provides customers with confidence that the solutions they purchase will integrate seamlessly with SAP technology.
“SAP ICC has been a success story for our company, our partners, and our joint customers,” says Imran Khan, Global Vice President, Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services, SAP ICC “We provide a valuable service for any partner or ISV with a solution or app — certifying their use of SAP technology and best practices across our solution portfolio. Many partners are gaining competitive advantage and growing their business as a result.”
SAP ICC opened its first operation in Germany a quarter-century ago, a year after the development of SAP’s first system for partner integration testing in 1995.
As technology developed apace, so did the SAP ICC’s capabilities — and many ‘firsts’ were achieved for partners. In 1999, the team enabled remote access to a shared SAP R/3 test system, provided as a dedicated service to allow remote testing. At the time, no longer having to travel to an SAP office to conduct integration testing was a big moment for ISVs.
Other important milestones followed, including the launch of the Accelerated Starter Kit in the start of the Re-certification Program in 2007 and an increased focus on certifications for partner apps running on the SAP technology stack. This began with SAP NetWeaver in 2008, followed by certification for mobile and Fiori apps, applications running on SAP HANA, and of course today’s partner applications running on SAP Business Technology Platform. Mobile device certification began in 2009, and the first SAP HANA hardware certification commenced in 2013.
Another key moment in the SAP ICC story came in 2017 with the SAP Certified Solutions Directory launch. Now, customers have a fast and straightforward way to confirm the SAP-certified solution status and certified functions, and can directly jump to the SAP Store to engage with the partner.
In the meantime, the SAP ICC international presence increased. The Germany team was joined by SAP ICC operations based in US, India, China, Canada, Latin America, Russia and Australia. Another big moment was the opening of the SAP Partner Adoption Center in China.
The true global nature of SAP ICC shone through when the first-ever virtual partner events were staged in 2020, with tech companies participating from every corner of the world.
Today, the SAP PartnerEdge program enables partners to harness their intellectual property and rapidly take it to market under a single, comprehensive partner program. They can build their own road map to accelerate innovation, engage with customers, and drive business growth with SAP at their side.
Certification is key to this — and the SAP ICC is busier than ever, managing new submissions as well as re-certifications. The categories available have soared to more than 100 and include everything from data modeling and digital payments, to SAP HANA Cloud apps and SAP Internet of Things.
“Partners and ISVs know that certification provides a proof point on integration and the smooth flow of business data between their own software and SAP solutions over open interfaces. Whatever the size of a partner or ISV, they can accelerate the market ramp-up cycle as they reach out to customers that use SAP technology already,” says Alexandra Uhlherr-McGhee, Vice President, Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services, SAP ICC
In turn, the “SAP Certified” seal of approval provides customers with speed and certainty as they deploy a partner’s pre-tested software, knowing they will minimize business interruption and the total cost of ownership. Customers benefit from a deep level of partnership and verified technical integration, so they can accelerate time to value.
Going forward, SAP ICC will support partners with guidance on building solutions that complement SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise vision, enhance industry-specific offerings, and build extensions and integrations on top of SAP Business Technology Platform.
SAP ICC is a major asset for SAP as a business. The center helps to channel, nurture, and accelerate innovation through a high-quality SAP ecosystem of partner solutions. As a result, customers can achieve spectacular outcomes and get even more from their investment in SAP technology.