EcoHub: SAP’s App Store Attracts Partners
SAP’s online application store, dubbed EcoHub, apparently has reached critical mass among software partners and customers. The EcoHub site now offers more than 500 different solutions. That’s a rather impressive figure considering so many other application exchanges have struggled to reach their tipping point. Here’s a look at SAP’s EcoHub strategy — and forthcoming moves involving mobile computing.
Launched in October 2008, SAP EcoHub is part of SAP’s broader social media strategy. That strategy largely involves The SAP Community Network — a social media destination that has attracted more than 2 million members, roughly 12 to 15 member-produced daily blog entries, and roughly 6,000 posts per day, reports SAP.
Roughly 500 different applications now live on the SAP EcoHub, according to Salim Ali, VP of enterprise solution marketing at SAP. Put simply, EcoHub is designed to help customers discover, evaluate, and buy relevant SAP and Partner solutions that are certified by SAP. The EcoHub also strives to help partners and customers answer five key questions:
- Have I considered all relevant solutions?
- Is this applicable to my business?
- Are there success stories in my industry?
- Is this partner solution certified?
- What are my peers saying?
Much like Amazon.com’s user-contributed product reviews, EcoHub site visitors can post ratings and comments about various SAP-compatible software and applications, Ali adds.
Success vs. Failure
Backed by a critical mass of applications, EcoHub sounds like it’s enjoying success.
EcoHub certainly isn’t unique. From Digium to Red Hat, plenty of software companies have launched online application exchanges to help speed customers’ software decisions. But not all online marketplaces succeed. While Digium’s Asterisk Exchange launched in early 2010 and sounds promising, the Red Hat Exchange ultimately closed its doors after the exchange failed to attract a critical mass of customers.
More Moves Coming
Meanwhile, SAP and Oracle continue to compete on a range of social media fronts. It’s safe to expect SAP to take some social media steps during SAP Sapphire (May 16-19, Orlando, Fla.). Plus, listen closely for SAP to start promoting mobile applets that appeal to a broader range of users — outside of SAP’s typical enterprise IT application customer base.
Over at Oracle, Channel Chief Judson Althoff and his team continue to use social media to promote the company’s Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized strategy. What’s next from Oracle? The VAR Guy will be sure to ask when he visits Althoff on April 14.