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Few of SAP’s customers still need convincing that enterprise mobility is a trend with profound corporate implications. Plenty, however, appear to need further convincing that SAP’s mobile platform and applications are going to be at the core of their mobile strategies.
A sampling of recent industry analysis reveals that SAP needs some help with its mobility mojo: “SAP’s mobile strategy is still fragmented.” And: “SAP is getting its mobile act together. But it is taking time and it is proving a rocky journey.” And: “Developers have voiced displeasure at the price tag associated with SUP, and enterprise customers are just beginning to pin down specific use cases for mobile applications and draw up their basic strategies.”
One other area, in particular, could use some more clarity: How much is it going to cost SAP customers in total? In a recent interview with ASUGNews.com, Nick Brown, SAP’s senior vice president for mobile strategies, spelled out SAP’s “three pricing layers” related to mobile licenses that, he claims, “will last forever.”
The skinny? Customers don’t have to buy additional licenses to access the data in their licensed SAP (or non-SAP) systems, but they will have to buy additional licenses (per user) for development on and deployment of SUP and Gateway.
First Layer—The Back-End
For starters, customers won’t need to pay additional licensing fees (beyond what they pay for their licenses already) to access the data they’re putting on their mobile devices—regardless of whether that data is in SAP or a non-SAP system.
Second Layer—The Mobile Platform
The mobile mid-tier enterprise license includes SAP NetWeaver Gateway and SUP and Afaria.
SAP sells a full-use license of the SAP mobile platform that is priced per user, which gives customers unlimited usage of Afaria, SUP and the NetWeaver Gateway for as many apps as they would like to deploy. SAP’s selling it in different bundles to meet different customer needs, Brown says.
SAP is also selling a runtime version of the platform for SAP and partner apps that “allows customers to quickly and easily get started with mobile apps,” he says. The runtime version is priced per user, per app, and gives the user SUP and Gateway for their application “at a very attractive price,” Brown adds.
Third Layer—The Applications
So what will the SAP apps cost? Brown says each app purchased from the SAP Store has chargeable, licensable user-app pricing—ranging from 25 Euros to 1000 Euros.
These types of apps include, according to Brown: employee productivity apps, such as SAP Travel Receipt Capture or SAP Employee Lookup mobile apps, which fall in the low end of the price range; an SAP Electronic Medical Record mobile app, which would fall in the middle of the price range; and mission-critical “day in the life apps” such as SAP CRM Field Service or SAP EAM Work Order, which would fall in the high end of that range.
Partners will develop most of the mobile apps—approximately 80 percent of the apps, SAP recently stated. Brown says that the partners will set their own prices for the apps they build.
The next question is whether customers can simply buy the out-of-the-box apps themselves from the SAP Mobile Apps Store and not have to pay for the licenses for SUP and Gateway? Brown says the majority of the apps on the SAP store is built on SUP and requires SUP; Gateway in this scenario is optional but may be required for some apps, according to Brown.
In some cases, he adds, customers can get a runtime license for SUP and Gateway with the app, and do not have to pay for SUP and Gateway separately. All of the apps list the tech pre-requisites.
SAP has taken some heat from analysts and customers because there are no free or $1.99 apps, though Brown disagrees. “I think it’s important we charge, especially for mobile apps at the top end,” Brown says. “If there’s no money to be made, then there’s nobody who is going to build mobile apps.”