Service Provider Cloud

SAP Debuts a Buffet-Style Cloud Plan

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress -- SAP introduced a buffet-style cloud pricing plan Monday, allowing enterprises to consume any SAP cloud services for one price, complementing the company's existing à la carte pricing.

Rather than subscribing to individual cloud services separately, and attempting to project how much of each service they need, enterprises can subscribe to all services on SAP Cloud Platform for one price.

The new "consumption-based commercial model" allows SAP customers to buy "cloud credits" to activate SAP Cloud Platform services, Dan Lahl, VP of product marketing for SAP Cloud Platform, tells Enterprise Cloud News. Users can also track usage for each service, with metering, reporting and detailed accounting analytics. The new consumption model helps users to get new applications online quickly.

"It's almost like buying a gift card," Lahl says -- buy a CostCo gift card, and you can use it for anything you want at CostCo.

Photo by By Vladislav Bezrukov from Walldorf, Germany [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by By Vladislav Bezrukov from Walldorf, Germany [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Want to read the hot news and views from Mobile World Congress 2018? Check out our dedicated MWC 2018 news section to keep up to date with the key developments from Barcelona.

The SAP announcement "seems like a direct reaction" to Amazon Web Services Inc. and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), Ovum Ltd. analyst Mike Sapien tells Enterprise Cloud News. "Both AWS and Oracle now have some form of consumption-based cloud pricing."

Oracle introduced Universal Credits, a single contract for all existing and future infrastructure and platform services (IaaS and PaaS), in September. That's essentially the same as what SAP is introducing today. (See Oracle's Ellison: We'll Beat Amazon Cloud Pricing by Half.)

In addition to credits, Oracle also provides Bring Your Own License for IaaS, allowing users to re-use existing licenses for Oracle on-premises software and apply those to IaaS and PaaS.

Oracle and SAP both face pressure to compete with AWS on price and in simplifying pricing models that confuse customers, Sapien says.

AWS has recently promoted its integration and professional services for SAP, "which has to be putting pressure on SAP to respond," Sapiens says.

AWS last year reduced the time increments for charges for use of Elastic Compute Cloud, Elastic Block Store storage, as well as Amazon EMR, which runs big data frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark. Users can buy blocks of time in one-minute increments. That doesn't do anything to reduce complexity, but it does give users finer-grained control of costs. (See Cisco: Enterprises Will 'Spend Differently'.)

Additionally on Monday, SAP enhanced SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS, for developing apps on Apple iPhones and iPads. The new SDK has tighter integration with Apple's Xcode integrated development environment, the standard for developing iOS apps. Developers can now access SAP API Business Hub, which allows users to utilize mobile apps for functions such as approving new hires or purchase orders.

The iOS SDK supports SAP Cloud Platform Translation Hub to translate applications between languages like English to Spanish. New analytic controls enable real-time data analytics and visualizations within mobile apps from SAP S/4HANA, SAP Big Data Services and SAP HANA. Also, apps can use iOS device capabilities for administrative tasks, such as on-boarding new users.

SAP introduced two new iOS mobile applications: SAP Insurance Sales Assistant enables insurance agents to effectively manage all sales activities and SAP Asset Manager is an IoT platform for managing work orders, notifications, condition monitoring, material consumption, time management and failure analysis, SAP says.

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— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Follow me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

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[email protected] 2/28/2018 | 11:02:48 PM
Re: Pricing clarity Joe its especially popular with those Visa type gift cards use them or lose value every month! Be careful if you don't use it all in one transaction!
Joe Stanganelli 2/28/2018 | 10:01:21 PM
Re: Pricing clarity @Ariella: Funny how that stuff collects and piles up.

At a charity auction many, many years ago, I won a prize that included a gift certificate for a particular restaurant. There was no expiration date.

I wonder if it's still kicking around somewhere. (Frankly, though, I have no interest in the restaurant.)
Joe Stanganelli 2/28/2018 | 9:59:11 PM
Re: Pricing clarity @Michelle: I hadn't even heard of that! Ugh.

I've got a gift card sitting around that I haven't touched yet. I should probably get on that.
Joe Stanganelli 2/28/2018 | 9:58:13 PM
Re: Pricing clarity @Maryam: Indeed, that's why a lot of companies allow debits like that to go the state as a matter of unclaimed property rather than chase someone down to accept it. Easier, compliance-wise, in a way.
[email protected] 2/28/2018 | 4:02:54 PM
Re: Pricing clarity It may sound better than it is retailers still have to account for those unused Giftcards on their books as a liability. I recently had a gift card that a was a merchandise credit that I hadn't used in a long time the retailer called an asked if I lost the card and needed a new one. I got a new one and will use it but their accounting company was definitely on it.
Susan Fourtané 2/28/2018 | 4:10:12 AM
Re: Pricing clarity It’s the gift card culture. You find it everywhere and of course companies get more than what they give out of them. Otherwise, they won’t do it. There is not such a thing as “gift” or “free.” Everything comes with a price.
Ariella 2/27/2018 | 8:04:15 PM
Re: Pricing clarity @Michelle yes, you can lose 10% or more of the value as time goes on with those. It's because of things like that plus the fact that not everyone favors the same stores that I don't like to offer giftcards. It's better to just give money outright because it has no restrictions.
Michelle 2/27/2018 | 7:56:16 PM
Re: Pricing clarity There are some that take back your balance as a "service fee" for inactivity. Those are the worst gift cards!
kq4ym 2/27/2018 | 11:47:48 AM
Re: Pricing clarity Yes, I have several cards that have not been used at call or rarely. Buying credits or gift cards seems convenient, but as the retailers have seen, they are definintely a profit center gambling that the card buyers won't fully use those credits.
Ariella 2/26/2018 | 1:12:25 PM
Re: Pricing clarity @kq4ym On top of that, a number of gift cards are never cashed in at all. I know we've received some that we could never use. Then there are the cards purchased from stores that go out of business, so those cards are then worhtless. 
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