Consumer-Driven, Enterprise-Ready

January 31, 2012 by Stefan Neumann

Over the last few years, mobile computing has evolved from a mostly supplementary service to become most people’s preferred way of using technology. “Smartphone shipments have surpassed PC shipments, and laptops are being replaced by tablet computers for road warriors and executives,” says Chris McClain, executive vice president and global head of Mobile Solutions and Sales at SAP.

At the same time that enterprise software is becoming more mobile, it is also becoming more consumer-driven. Ultimately, the business users who make decisions for enterprise application software are also consumers, and their expectations are changing – especially in the area of mobile applications.

Today, business users want to be able to search and buy enterprise software with the same ease that they purchase consumer apps: in an app store with seamless integration and instant delivery. That’s exactly what the SAP Store provides.

Enterprise app store with consumer-grade experience

The SAP Store takes the valuable elements from the consumer app stores (like ease of use and instant value) and adds the requirements of enterprise customers (like buying roles and processes and compatibility checks).

And now the SAP Store includes a new department for all mobile solutions developed by SAP as well as certified, SUP-based apps supplied by partners. There are already over 50 apps available for Apple, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Android-based devices. In most cases, users are able to try out and evaluate apps before buying.

So far, the SAP Store for mobile solutions has proven to be a success. Just one week after the department for mobile solutions launched in late 2011, there were more than 9,000 visits to the Web site and about 10,000 app downloads. Some customers are even looking to implement their own company-specific store powered by SAP to manage mobile apps on their employees’ devices. For an overview of the SAP Store for mobile solutions, watch this video.

In the upcoming enhancements planned for the SAP Store, it will be possible to purchase the selected solutions instantly via the online ordering and e-contracting capabilities. An integrated online compatibility check will verify that the underlying core solution and mobile platform components are in place.

Besides mobile solutions, the SAP Store also offers solution extensions for SAP Business ByDesign and will soon be home to a wider range of software products and services for all platforms.

A unified commercial platform at SAP

The SAP Store is part of the SAP Commercial Platform, which is evolving into the platform for all SAP e-commerce activities, from marketing and demand generation to volume sales and instant software delivery. “The SAP Store is an essential element of SAP’s cloud strategy,” says Bernd Welz, senior vice president for SAP Cloud Services. “It is a must-have for our ecosystem partners to market and sell their SAP apps, and it is also a very efficient way to sell our own cloud offerings.”

Partners can take advantage of the unified SAP Commercial Platform as their sales and deployment platform. It offers end-to-end support, from becoming a partner and getting the right development toolset, through quality review and certification, to publishing, selling, and managing apps. Partners then are able to reach a much broader customer base and create new business in an efficient way.

Customers also derive benefits from a unified e-commerce experience. They are able to easily find and evaluate the right solution in terms of features, pricing, and delivery. And the built-in compatibility check ensures that the selected solution is technically compatible with their existing installation and specific scope.

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Photo sources: Page 1: top, screenshot, YouTube; bottom, screenshot, SAP Store; Page 2: screenshot, YouTube; Page 3, screenshot, SAP Store

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