In the competitive marketplace of enterprise technology, one designation stands above all others for having earned the trust of SAP customers seeking high quality partner solutions that successfully integrate into their SAP environments: SAP-certified status.
With more than 14,000 certifications performed, SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) is celebrating 25 years of supporting SAP partners in their mission to deliver customer success across every solution category, industry, and geography. Since the first SAP ICC locations went live in Walldorf and Palo Alto in 1996, more than 4,000 partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) worldwide have relied on SAP ICC services to help ensure the technical integration and interface of their solution with SAP.
“For 25 years, the SAP Integration and Certification Center has laid the foundation for a trusted relationship between SAP, partners, and customers by certifying a high quality ecosystem of partner solutions that integrate with the latest SAP technology,” says Karl Fahrbach, chief partner officer, SAP.
“As a standard-bearer for partner innovation, SAP ICC is at the forefront of partner success, supporting SAP’s strategy toward partner profitability and providing agility to customers as they become best-run businesses,” Fahrbach says. “We congratulate SAP ICC and Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services on this remarkable milestone and applaud the dedication of the SAP ICC team who remind us that at SAP partner success is customer success.”
Achieving Milestones at the Pace of Innovation
As the SAP solution portfolio has evolved over the years, SAP ICC has kept pace with innovation by rolling out the most significant certifications on time to meet market demands for the latest technologies. In 1999, SAP ICC pioneered the first cloud-based SAP ERP test system. Shortly thereafter, the SAP ICC team provided the first ABAP add-on certification in 2001, followed by a solution manager ready certification in 2007, mobile device certification in 2009, and the SAP Certified powered by SAP HANA status in 2013 – along with many others – leading up to today’s focus on partner integrations with SAP S/4HANA and partner extensions based on SAP Business Technology Platform. Each successive designation demonstrates SAP’s ongoing commitment to helping customers reduce implementation effort, accelerate innovation, and gain agility through best-of-breed partner solutions that successfully integrate into SAP.
“It takes a great team to consistently deliver success for 25 long years,” says Nandagopal Prasad B, senior vice president and head of Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services, which oversees SAP ICC in its portfolio of services, including partner co-innovation services, that enable partners to develop innovative solutions on SAP platforms and products.
As the SAP ICC team has grown, it has closed the distance to customer markets not only technologically, but geographically as well by opening new locations around the world to support partners in their regions. SAP ICC is now active in 11 locations: Australia, Canada, China, CIS, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Latin America, the Middle East, and the United States.
For SAP partners that have worked with the team over the years to bring new solutions to market, the 25-year anniversary of SAP ICC is a milestone marking a close working relationship of many years. “It has been a great experience working with SAP ICC colleagues,” says Samiullah Sheik, founder and managing director, Bizadept Consulting GmbH. “We worked with SAP ICC for both our product certifications, and information was provided upfront to reduce delays. SAP ICC colleagues also responded quickly whenever we faced problems during the packaging of the product. These experiences have given us more confidence to consider the possibility of going down the co-innovation path with SAP for design and development of complex products in the coming years.”
Axel Janz, global head of SAP Products and Innovations at EY, was one of the first members of the former complementary SAP Software Solution PartnerEdge program team, the predecessor of the SAP ICC, and with SAP Labs Tokyo 25 years ago. “With the SAP ICC, the EY organization has found a highly trustful, super responsive, and top-level guiding collaborator, supporting us on our integration and extension needs, accompanied by highly efficient SAP Certification processes,” he says.
Why Partners Benefit with SAP Certification
Partners can gain significant benefits from having SAP-certified status, but the most compelling reason is the improved profitability that can come from lowering integration costs, accelerating go-to-market, and shortening implementation times. Once their solution has SAP-certified status, partners can place it in SAP Store to be discovered by customers alongside SAP solutions. Membership in SAP PartnerEdge allows partners to gain additional benefits from the program’s resources and enablement tools to help enhance partner success and profitability.
To earn SAP-certified statuses, partners submit their solutions to SAP ICC for stringent qualification procedures to check that the solution uses SAP-recommended integration technologies and stable interfaces. The entire process is carried out online. While the requirements vary, the certification focuses primarily on the quality of the technical integration of the partner solution with SAP, including the smooth flow of business data through SAP. Partners are allowed access to SAP test systems as well as essential enablement and consulting services. The certification is valid for three years in most on-premise scenarios and one year in cloud integration scenarios.
SAP ICC plans to celebrate its 25th anniversary with a series of regional virtual partner meetups, promotions via SAP social channels, and additional activities.
Visit the SAP-certified solutions directory for a complete listing of all SAP-certified solutions, apply for an SAP Certification, and learn how the Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services group at SAP helps partners develop innovative solutions on SAP platforms and products to enable customer success.