Browsing through the offerings in the SAP Store for Business ByDesign, and sorting by the number of downloads, the only successful apps seem to be the iPhone and iPad apps. Makes sense. They’re free and functional. All us mobile/iPhone users get some decent value, and executives love playing with their iPads.
But going beyond those few, you will see the number of downloads decrease exponentially.
- SAP Business ByDesign Dashboard app for iPad, by SAP – 300 downloads, FREE
- SAP Business ByDesign app for mobile devices, by SAP – 270 downloads, FREE
- SAP Business ByDesign Active Sales app for iPad, by SAP – 39 dowloads, FREE
- Pro Forma Invoice, by SAP – 15 downloads, FREE
- Planning Table for Services, by Data One – 11 downloads, $43/user/month
- Sales Order Confirmation with Planned Delivery Date, by SAP – 11 downloads, FREE
- Google Maps integration, by Google – 8 downloads, FREE
- B2B Business Partner Integration and Collaboration, by Crossgate – 4 downloads, no pricing info
- Multi-Project-Cockpit (for ByD Excel Add-In), by IBIS – 4 downloads, $750 one-time fee
- Hybris Commerce for SAP Business ByDesign, by Hybris – 4 downloads, no pricing info
There are over a hundred solutions that come after these in the list. Beginning at solution number 36, there are zero downloads. This means the vast majority of solutions have never been used.
So what’s the deal? Are all these solutions useless to the customer? Are they too hard to buy? Too expensive?
In my opinion, the only question above I can answer with a ‘yes’ is that many are too hard to buy. This is an app store. All vendors should be required to at least provide some pricing information on their product. Having to go through the process of contacting the offering vendor, waiting for a response, and then finally discuss pricing completely defeats the purpose of an app store.
I can’t help but feel that most partners are going about things wrong. Of the top 10 solutions, 8 are native to ByDesign. Only two are integrations. Yes, it’s true that there are plenty best of breed solutions out there that can be integrated into one process or another in ByDesign. But I believe that ByDesign will be most successful with native solutions that cater to vertical markets.
ByDesign is supposed to be an end-to-end solution for fast-growing midsize companies. So why are we not working to complete that vision with industry-specific, native solutions?
Well, for one, SAP and the ByDesign Studio just haven’t enabled their partners to do that yet. I believe this will change, but not for quite a while. The Studio is great for creating apps that are outside the normal ByD processes, but not so good for building up those processes for industry verticals.
SAP is committed to the Cloud and ByDesign. That’s been confirmed. But I think the marketing of the SAP Store and the capabilities of the Studio have a long way to go before they can be dominate in the Cloud.
I do think the store can be successful for partners, customers, and SAP alike, which I'll share my thoughts on at a later date.
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