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Author's profile photo Finn Backer

Exploring SAP BTP EMEA North Roadshow Insights: Top 10 Questions about SAP’s Industry Cloud from Partners – Part 2

In my previous blog post, I discussed 5 top questions from channel partners as part of a top 10 FAQ from the EMEA North 2023 SAP BTP Roadshow about SAP’s industry cloud.

In this blog post I discuss the last 5 questions. These are questions around GTM, reselling and partner-to-partner collaboration.


For questions 1-5, see this blog post

6) Is it mandatory for SAP channel partners to collaborate with their competitors and sell their solutions?

Many channel partners view other SAP partners as competitors and may feel hesitant to utilize an industry cloud solution developed by another partner.

First and foremost, SAP does not mandate that partners collaborate with other partners. The decision ultimately lies with each partner. However, SAP’s ecosystem strategy aims to foster a partnership-centric approach for mutual business benefits.

SAP itself has undergone this transition, forming agreements with partners to offer solutions to SAP’s customers. Some of these partners were once SAP’s competitors. Furthermore, SAP has collaboration agreements with major competitors, such as Microsoft. While SAP and Microsoft compete in certain areas, they collaborate in others. The key is to find a balance, creating win-win situations by maintaining an open mind, building trust, and establishing clear agreements on how to engage with specific business opportunities.

It is recommended that channel partners adopt a similar approach, collaborating with other partners that offer excellent industry cloud solutions and seeking win-win opportunities. Solution partners understand the importance of respecting other partners’ relationships with their customers.

Of course, if a channel partner has a highly competitive relationship with another partner in multiple areas, collaboration may not be the best choice. Instead, they could consider partnering with other partners, perhaps those operating in different markets or countries.

SAP’s new cloud strategy offers significant go-to-market flexibility for partners. Those who embrace this approach will have a better chance of success in the evolving SAP cloud landscape, where platform and partnering are vital. Partnering is a proven business concept that can boost efficiency and success.

7) How can I trust that a solution from another partner is reliable, has a solid roadmap, and will provide excellent support if I sell it to my customers?

The short answer is to communicate directly with the other partner, addressing these questions and allowing them to convince you of their solution’s merits.

While SAP evaluates solutions through Application Readiness Check (ARC) and Industry Cloud Readiness Check (ICRC), and conducts due diligence checks on partners, it does not delve into the specifics of how solutions are developed at the functional level or dictate how solution partners should operate or collaborate. Partners should negotiate these aspects themselves, with the solution partner taking the lead.

In my experience, solution partners are incredibly proud of their solutions and are passionate about providing excellent service to customers using their industry solutions. These solutions are already employed by SAP customers, and SAP trusts these solution partners to do a great job for their mutual clientele.

Additionally, consider the following: when an SAP S/4HANA prospect places their trust in you as a channel partner to sell, implement, and service their SAP system, SAP also trusts you to perform these tasks effectively for their mutual customers and uphold the SAP brand. This trust extends to cases where you develop a solution yourself for your customers and SAP’s clients.

SAP has chosen to place its trust in partners, and partners are an integral part of SAP’s future strategy. Partners should also consider trusting and leveraging partners for collective success.

8) If my customer uses multiple industry cloud solutions, how can I ensure that these solutions do not conflict with each other? 

If the solutions have been developed in accordance with SAP’s guidelines, they should not technically interfere with one another. However, it is the responsibility of the customer and/or their channel partner to carefully review the business processes of all the solutions to ensure that they are compatible and make business sense when used in tandem.

9) What should I do if I develop an industry cloud solution, a customer wants to buy it, but the customer already has BTP credits and/or insists on using their own SAP BTP account? 

First, let’s provide some background information: An industry cloud solution is a SaaS offering that bundles SAP BTP services with the partner’s code, DevOps, and other services into a single package and price.

Partners sometimes encounter situations where customers already have SAP BTP services and do not want to purchase them again, thereby not wanting to buy the complete industry cloud solution offered by the partner. Customers may have credits from a RISE deal or have already purchased SAP BTP capacity through other deals with SAP. It is understandable that customers would not want to pay twice for BTP services.

In cases like this, some partners opt to sell only the rights to their code, excluding SAP BTP services. However, it is important to note that the customer would not be running an official SAP industry cloud SaaS solution in this scenario, and the partner would receive less revenue through their books as a result (due to SAP BTP services not included). Partners also need to consider how to protect their IP if it is deployed on the customer’s SAP BTP environment and and partner need to determine how to efficiently execute the life cycle management (LCM) of the solution.

10) What is the difference between a Qualified Partner Packaged Solution (QPPS) and an industry cloud solution?

Here are three key differences:

1) An industry cloud solution is a software solution, while a QPPS is a go-to-market (GTM) approach that includes a package of software solution(s), implementation services, templates, etc.

2) A QPPS can only be used by the partner that created it, whereas an industry cloud solution can be used/sold by multiple partners.

3) A QPPS can incorporate several industry cloud solutions, but it is not accurate to say that QPPSs can part of an industry cloud solution.

Interested in more information about SAP’s Industry Cloud for Channel Partners?Consider reading one of my other blog posts.

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