Surprise, surprise. Someone at SAP has woken up and smelled the competitive coffee. Right now, the digital SAP Store is showing Lumira, SAP's kind of Tableau/visualization competitor available at $185 a pop. It was previously on offer at $1,000. The much loved (I use it all the time and have done for some years) TripitPro is on a limited time offer of $39 per annum instead of the usual $49 per annum.
The bigger surprise to me is that the SAP Store was not as clunky as I thought it might be based upon past experience, although the sign up form for Lumira asks for way too much information in my view. SAP has wisely kept the 'old' much simpler TripIt sign up/sign in form it inherited when Concur, the product parent, was acquired.
Has SAP decided to enter the 'bargain of the week' crowd in an effort to boost sales of its outlier products? Not really. In these cases, I see SAP starting to deliver based upon market realities for certain classes of digital product. And not before time.
Regular readers might recall that when I was on ZDNet, I advocated for SAP to establish a store with micro applications that could be sold in the $1-5/user/month range. (Can't find the link -bleh.) It's probably fair to say that I was too far ahead of where SAP was thinking at the time. Even so, and as the customer base has proven, there is plenty of time to catch up.
It is easy to miss a few more points about the fledgling digital SAP Store.
- It's functional - you can buy on a credit card.
- There are no obvious sales people to stand in the way of a purchase although there are help links and chat facilities. Ergo, dramatically lower go to market costs.
- Pricing is transparent. This has been an ongoing bug bear for many years.
- The SAP Store is clean and modern looking, a far cry from what we normally expect to see of a large enterprise vendor.
Right now, the digital SAP Store is generating the SAP equivalent of 'pocket money' in revenue terms. My guess is less than 0.5%
I maintain, as I always have done, that digital products offered in a modern SAP store hold enormous potential. I understand for example that TripIt reaches approximately 25% of the SAP installed base. That leaves millions of potential but untapped users SAP can snag using network effects and bit of smart inbound marketing.
The vogue for visualization of many types of data, popularized by both Qlik and Tableau but also with other entrants like GoodData and Tidemark, presents yet another opportunity to ramp sales in what should be a captive market. Pricing was always going to be the gating factor. That looks fixed to me.
Next steps? Getting this far is an achievement in enterprise land. The SAP digital team now has to find enough development resource to convince the market that the flashy store isn't just a dumping ground for products that will eventually be subsumed into others but are under active development on their own market merit. Here I am thinking of TripIt/Concur which, functional though it is, could do with some updating and some integration into other, popular services. Dare I say it - QuickBooks? How about Workday?
That development effort will allow SAP to discover what it is like to be at the consumerization coal face while expanding its market opportunity well beyond its installed base. The same goes for Lumira. D4C (Digital For Customer) is already looking good but can't be left to flounder.
In short, SAP is finally finding its feet in the digital market space. It has a massive market it can readily mine with the help of the recently acquired hybris. It must now provide internal development support to flesh out the offerings and reap the rewards that should follow.
Disclosure: SAP is a premier partner at time of writing.