What Are the Levels of SAP Partners?

Levels of SAP Partners

SAP is a well-known enterprise software company with an extensive partner ecosystem. SAP partners in Dubai can benefit from SAP’s PartnerEdge program, which categorizes partners into different levels based on their capabilities and commitment to SAP. This program provides partners access to valuable resources and support, helping them better serve their clients and grow their businesses.

Depending on their level, partners may receive training, marketing and sales support, and other benefits to help them build their expertise and reputation as trusted SAP advisors. This article explains the different levels of SAP partners and what each level signifies.

An Introduction to SAP PartnerEdge

SAP PartnerEdge is SAP’s partner program that provides resources, benefits, and support to help partners effectively sell, service, and build solutions on SAP technology. Through the program, partners can access SAP software, documentation, and training materials to become experts in SAP solutions.

The SAP PartnerEdge program currently includes over 24,000 partner companies worldwide across four partnership types:

  • Build Partners: Develop products that integrate with or extend SAP solutions
  • Service Partners: Provide consulting and implementation services for SAP solutions
  • Run Partners: Deliver hosting, application management, and business process services for SAP solutions
  • Sell Partners: Resell, refer, or OEM SAP solutions

Within these partnership types, partners are assigned one of three levels – Silver, Gold, or Platinum – based on their capabilities, revenues, and credentials. The levels are designed to reflect the degree of a partner’s engagement with SAP and the value they provide to customers. As partners gain more experience and meet higher requirements, they can qualify for a higher level with expanded benefits.

Now, let’s explore each of SAP PartnerEdge’s three partnership levels and what you need to know about them.

SAP Silver Partners

Silver is the entry-level for partners in the SAP PartnerEdge program. Becoming a Silver partner has a low barrier to entry but also provides limited benefits compared to the higher tiers. The requirements to qualify as an SAP Silver partner are:

  • Pay an annual partner fee to SAP
  • Have two endorsed individuals pass SAP certifications
  • Submit one customer reference per year

As a Silver partner, you get primary access to SAP resources like documentation, software downloads, and discount licenses for internal use. You can also access SAP’s partner portal and profiles to market your partnership.

The Silver tier is a good fit for new partners just starting their journey with SAP and wanting to gain experience with SAP solutions. As a Silver partner, you can demonstrate an initial commitment to SAP and familiarity with their technology.

Silver partners receive limited sales and marketing support from SAP. There is also minimal use of SAP branding and logos. The Silver level does not provide market development funds from SAP that can be used for demand-generation activities.

Overall, if you are exploring SAP partnerships for the first time, the Silver tier provides an entry point to get your feet wet. But to tap into more resources and benefits, you must pursue the higher Gold or Platinum levels.

SAP Gold Partners

The Gold partnership level represents a more profound commitment to SAP solutions and expertise. SAP Gold partners receive expanded benefits, support, and recognition compared to Silver. Here are the critical criteria to qualify for the Gold tier:

  • Pay an increased annual partner fee
  • Have ten endorsed individuals pass SAP certifications
  • Submit five customer references per year
  • Achieve $750,000 in revenue related to SAP

As you can see, the bar is higher regarding certified professionals, customer success stories, and revenue thresholds. In return, SAP Gold partners get access to valuable resources and marketing assets.

Some of the core benefits of being an SAP Gold partner include:

  • Increased access to SAP software licenses and environments for demo and training purposes
  • Roadmap briefings to get insight into SAP product direction
  • Eligibility for listings in SAP store and partner finder directories
  • Access to SAP partner portal with sales and marketing tools
  • Permission to use the SAP partner logo on your website and collateral
  • Consideration for joint SAP customer engagements
  • Discounts on exhibitor space at SAP events and tradeshows

The Gold tier opens up more collaboration opportunities for partners focused on sales, implementation, and support of SAP solutions. As a Gold partner, SAP will co-invest in generating new business opportunities.

Achieving Gold status also grants you more credibility when promoting your SAP relationship to prospects. The expanded use of SAP branding and logos enables you to highlight your higher status than Silver and uncertified firms.

SAP Platinum Partners

Platinum represents the highest level of partnership with SAP. It demonstrates that a partner possesses extensive SAP knowledge and has significantly invested in their SAP practice.

Here is what it takes to reach the Platinum tier:

  • Pay the highest annual SAP partnership fee
  • Have 20 endorsed SAP-certified individuals
  • Submit ten customer success stories per year
  • Achieve $15 million in SAP-related revenue

As those requirements show, the Platinum level is reserved for partners who have attained massive scale in their SAP business. They have deep benches of certified experts and impressive sales numbers to back it up.

By reaching Platinum status, partners can access elite levels of resources and visibility from SAP:

  • Early access to roadmaps and new SAP solutions
  • Priority involvement in pilot projects and beta programs
  • The highest level of discounts and software access provided by SAP
  • Nominated for SAP Pinnacle awards
  • Listed as a top, preferred partner by SAP
  • Prominent branding in SAP marketing activities and sales plays
  • Direct engagement with the SAP leadership team
  • Maximum use of SAP logo and branding
  • The most considerable amount of market development funds from SAP

SAP will actively promote Platinum partners and help drive new business to them. Becoming a Platinum partner signals that you are a trusted advisor who can handle large, complex deployments of SAP solutions.

Prospects and customers can be confident in choosing to work with an SAP Platinum partner. Achieving this elite status is the culmination of massive investments in building an SAP practice at scale.

Weighing the Pros and Cons at Each Tier

As we have explored, each level in the SAP PartnerEdge program has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here is a quick recap of the key pros and cons at each tier:

SAP Silver

Pros:

  • Low barrier to entry and partner fee
  • Official SAP partner status
  • Access to essential partner portal resources

Cons:

  • Minimal use of SAP branding
  • Minimal software licenses and discounts
  • Low visibility to customers
  • Minimal sales and marketing support

SAP Gold

Pros:

  • Expanded access to SAP software assets
  • Roadmap briefings provide product insight
  • Increased branding and logo usage
  • Consideration for joint customer engagements
  • Discounts on SAP event exhibitor space

Cons:

  • Moderate annual fee to SAP
  • Requires ten certified professionals
  • A higher revenue threshold of $750K

SAP Platinum

Pros:

  • Early access to new SAP solutions
  • Nominated for SAP Pinnacle awards
  • Listed as a top, preferred SAP partner
  • Maximum use of SAP branding
  • Direct engagement with SAP leadership
  • Largest market development funds

Cons:

  • Highest annual partner fee
  • Requires 20 certified professionals
  • Highest revenue threshold of $15M
  • Reserved for large-scale SAP practices

Making the Most of Your SAP Partner Level

No matter what level you attain in the SAP PartnerEdge program, it is essential to maximize the benefits. Here are some recommendations on how to get the most value from your SAP partnership:

  • Flaunt your status: Prominently display your SAP partner logo, listing, or badge on your website, collateral, and presentations. This visibility emphasizes your relationship with prospects.
  • Get certified experts trained: Get your technical and functional consultants approved on the latest SAP solutions. This expands your practice’s capabilities.
  • Leverage partner resources: Use available resources like the partner portal, license discounts, events, and marketing assets to support your SAP business.
  • Regularly reconnect with SAP: Set quarterly meetings with your assigned SAP partner manager to discuss new collaboration opportunities.
  • Participate in SAP communities: Join SAP online forums and user groups to network and share best practices with fellow partners.
  • Provide feedback to SAP: Offer product feedback and suggestions to SAP based on your experiences with customers. This can help improve their solutions.
  • Reference your work: Submit quality customer references and success stories so SAP can promote your firm to new prospects.

Following these tips can help you maximize the return on your investment in an SAP partnership.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to become an SAP partner?

A: The timeframe depends on the level you are applying for. Silver takes 1-2 months, Gold can take 3-6 months, and Platinum can take 6+ months, given the higher requirements. SAP reviews partner applications and will work with you on certification and other steps to approve your partnership.

Q: Can you be downgraded from a higher partner level like Gold to Silver?

A: Yes, SAP reviews partners annually to ensure they still meet all program requirements. If you drop below the criteria for your level, you will not be able to renew at that tier and will be reassigned to the applicable lower tier. Maintaining your certifications and revenue is crucial.

Q: What is the best partner level for a new SAP partner?

A: Most partners should begin at the Silver level to gain some experience. It provides a low-risk entry point. After operating at Silver for a year or so, you can work towards leveling up to Gold once your SAP practice matures.

Q: Can you jump straight to being a Platinum partner?

A: It isn’t peculiar for a brand-new partner to qualify directly at the Platinum level. To apply for Platinum, you need many certified experts and a substantial track record of SAP customer success and sales. Very few ever reach this top tier.

Q: If we drop below revenue thresholds, will SAP remove our partnership?

A: SAP wants to see partners succeed, so they won’t immediately dissolve your partnership if you have a down year. However, it would be best if you showed momentum in working towards the minimum revenue requirements to maintain your status long-term.

Conclusion

SAP partners play an essential role in the enterprise software ecosystem. The SAP PartnerEdge program provides a clear path for partners to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to SAP through different partnership levels. As a partner, understanding each level’s requirements, benefits, and tradeoffs will allow you to find the right fit and maximize your investment.

Building a practice around SAP takes significant effort, but the rewards in status, resources, and new business opportunities make it worthwhile. Use the tiered partner model as motivation to continue growing your SAP capabilities over time. With the right strategy, you can aspire to reach the top Platinum level and enjoy the perks of being one of SAP’s closest partners.

Russell Crown
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