Sometimes the ideal solution simply doesn’t exist. That’s where you can find your competitive advantage.

SAP Guest Blogger

August 1, 2019

4 Min Read
Multiple lightbulbs strung together

Anyone who works in the channel knows the competition can be fierce.

Often, businesses find themselves looking for the significant differentiator that provides them with a unique edge. In the past, this might have included external validation–certificates, awards, partnership program level logos or a reference list of well-known customers.

Today, while branding through positive customer experience is still vital, the focus is less about pounding our chests or boasting about our own achievements and more about putting customers first. Every successful business realizes very quickly that viral word-of-mouth about a positive experience goes much further than self-aggrandizement.

But a customer-first mentality stretches beyond building a solid rapport and providing great service; it means listening to what the customer’s needs are and then providing the right solution.

Sometimes, though, the ideal solution simply doesn’t exist. That’s where you can find your competitive advantage. Leverage the framework of your software provider and create your own intellectual property (IP) to pair with it. In other words, come up with your own solution.

One way my company, SAP, made this possible, was through the launch of SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions. SAP defines packaged solutions as a bundle that includes SAP software as well as a partner’s own IP and value-added services, which can include customer applications, business consulting, training, managed services and more.

Targeted at small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), this provides a variety of SAP solutions based on a fixed-price offering, and packaged SAP’s software together with a partner’s expertise, services and IP, creating a highly targeted value proposition with a fast return on investment.

Sean Barbera, marketing director at Navigator Business Solutions, an SAP Partner, said, “The SAP-qualified partner-packaged solution framework is an extension of our own standard solution sales process. It helps us stay focused on verticals where we have experience and success. We can leverage the power of SAP solutions but also the experience and expertise of Navigator as the provider of those solutions.”

According to Sten Frellesvig, Solution Center Global Packaging Lead at SAP, “Packaged solutions are a win-win-win formula for SAP, our partners and their customers. Partners making money are happy partners. From a customer perspective, there’s less risk, a more predictable outcome and a solution that addresses their specific needs. It’s what customers are looking for, and we’re matching the demands of the market.”

Another way SAP leverages partner IP is through the SAP App Center. Just over two years old with over 1,900 apps (and averaging 10 new solutions a week for customers), the SAP App Center allows partners to identify solutions, create the IP and publish it to share the revenue under a fixed revenue-sharing agreement.

SAP Senior Director of Digital Transformation Bill Rojas stated, “The way I see it, there is a lot of white space that SAP cannot fulfill. That is exactly the opportunity that partners identify, and they build a very niche solution. The speed that these guys build the solutions is much, much faster than SAP or any other large enterprise company can do. Partners understand the opportunity, and they run with it.”

Another partner exemplifying the impact of leveraging IP innovation is Lloyd’s Register. Focused on Health Safety Environment (HSE), Lloyd’s Register is creating dynamic models that lay the foundation for prescriptive analytics by using the power of the SAP Leonardo portfolio, with real-time data from IoT sensors.

Lloyd’s Register’s AllAssets platform, a cloud-based SaaS product, allows customers to build, test, and deploy risk and reliability models quickly. AllAssets offers customized software models that predict failure, fostering corrective action before an incident happens.

Virtually everyone has heard of The Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulting in 11 deaths and 4.9 million barrels of oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Though there were many variables at play in the accident, it might have been prevented if the blowout preventer had been properly inspected, with an alert drilling crew responding correctly to signals below the seafloor.

When connected to SAP S/4HANA, Lloyd’s Register helps equipment owners optimize inspection schedules. This reduces servicing and maintenance costs, ensuring safety and peak performance.

“Partner growth will be driven by our strategy of delivering the Intelligent Enterprise and a shift away from a heavy focus on SAP-led application with innovation value created by our partners,” said SAP Chief Partner Officer Karl Fahrbach. “Many of us have at SAP are saying: ‘With partnership comes possibility.’ That’s never been more true going forward. Every customer has its own unique needs and requirements. Every partner has the opportunity to provide the market- and industry-specific innovations necessary to make that business the best.”

Are you interested in innovation opportunities and a chance to monetize using your own IP? You can learn more by visiting for information on the SAP PartnerEdge program.

Ira Simon (follow me on Twitter – @IraASimon) is global vice president, Partner & SME Marketing, at SAP. Learn more about partnership opportunities at:





This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.





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