SAP Offers Partners Pay-As-You-Go Option, Free Service Trials For Business Technology Platform

Partners now have more flexibility – with less up-front financial commitment – to develop and demonstrate customer solutions using BTP services.


SAP has debuted a new pay-as-you-go licensing option for partners for the company’s Business Technology Platform and is now providing partners with access to a free tier of BTP services.

The new licensing model and free-tier access will allow solution providers to develop and demonstrate BTP-based solutions for customers without a big up-front financial commitment, SAP channel executives say. The new options also will make it easier for ISV partners to develop and test software that works with BTP.

“This new licensing option makes it easier to get started with SAP Business Technology Platform,” said Karl Fahrbach, SAP chief partner officer, in a blog post. “As partners increasingly leverage the platform, SAP aims to ease the financial component.”

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The SAP Business Technology Platform is a collection of some 90 products and services including database, data management, analytics, application development and application integration. The platform, which serves as an integration hub for application and data assets from SAP and third-party companies, also includes AI, machine learning, internet of things (IoT) and blockchain capabilities.

Until now SAP has licensed BTP to partners either through an enterprise agreement annual contract or a subscription license. But in an interview with CRN Jagdish Sahasrabudhe, CTO for the SAP Global Partner organization, said that can be problematic for partners as they develop and implement solutions for their customers.

“You buy capacity and then you figure out how you’re going to use that capacity,” Sahasrabudhe said, describing how partners often had to work with the enterprise agreement and subscription license models. “But you don’t always know what the final solution is going to be for the customer.”

The new pay-as-you-go option, available now, is designed to accommodate that uncertainty by providing partners with the flexibility to buy only the BTP capacity they need during the early stages of customer engagement, including needs assessment, and solution design and development. “That’s really the premise of pay-as-you-go as a model,” the CTO said.

Partners can license the entire BTP platform or individual BTP products and services based on their more immediate needs. Specific services are priced using different metrics: A software tool might be priced based on the number of users, for example, while an analytic service might be priced based on metered usage and a database product priced according to utilized memory capacity.

As part of the new pay-as-you-go option, SAP said partners also now have access to the same free tier model for the Business Technology Platform that SAP announced for pay-as-you-go customers on July 1. That provides a way to access, for a limited time on a trial basis, such BTP services as SAP Business Application Studio, SAP Mobile Services and SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation.

“You don’t even have to start with pay-as-you-go,” Sahasrabudhe said, noting the head start the free tier offers partners.

Last month SAP announced that the free tier included some 30 BTP services and the company expects to expand that over time.

The new pay-as-you-go option for partners, combined with free tier access and the ability to license specific services, gives solution providers a great deal of flexibility and eliminates what was a barrier to entry, Sahasrabudhe said. Partners can develop more solution prototypes for customers, improving the likelihood of developing the most optimal solution.

“And that is really the higher revenue opportunity for partners,” the CTO said.

Partners now have increased flexibility for developing, testing and demonstrating new solutions, Fahrbach said in his blog post, paying only for BTP services used, when they are used, without upfront financial commitments.

“With SAP BTP, partners can move quickly to address the new cloud landscape,” Fahrbach said. “With this payment model, partners can have a lower barrier to create their own intellectual property on SAP BTP that answers specific customer needs and [utilizes] their specific industry knowledge.”