April 23, 2012 // By: Heather McIlvaine // SAP and Google: Partners by Design
For SAP customers, the integration of Google Apps is just one piece of a wider-ranging partnership that also spans devices, platforms, and go to market. “In terms of devices, we just launched support for the Android operating system. So now you can access and work in SAP Business ByDesign on your Android phone or tablet,” explains McPhail. “And even though the apps integration and mobile support are getting the most attention right now, one of the really intriguing long-term dimensions of our relationship with Google is the fact that we can now leverage the ecosystem of developers who use Google’s platform.”
Google’s platform-as-a-service offering is called Google App Engine. Around 150,000 independent software developers (ISVs) regularly develop apps on the platform. And now, thanks to the SAP and Google relationship, the ISVs are able to integrate their apps into SAP Business ByDesign and SAP’s line-of-business apps (like SAP Sales OnDemand), and even offer them on the SAP Store.
The first of these integrations, SnapEngage Live Chat, was announced in February, but has actually been available on the SAP Store since late December. (See the SAP.info article “Instant Customer Support” for more information.) “Combining value offerings from our extended ecosystem – that’s what innovation really is,” says McPhail of the platform and ISV support. “It enables us to deliver more value faster than we could do on our own. And our customers and their customers benefit.”
The last piece of the partnership is the go to market strategy. SAP and Google jointly recruited a number of resellers and customers to take part in a pilot program in France, the U.K., and the U.S.A. They are currently working directly with these participants to refine the product and the go to market approach. The actual data integration between Google and SAP Business ByDesign is scheduled to be shipped with feature pack 4.0 in August 2012. At that time, the integration will be extended to other regions.