Why SAP Cloud ALM is a true freemium product


Introduction

SAP Cloud ALM is the offering for cloud-centric customers, and it is included in cloud subscription with SAP Enterprise Support, cloud editions.

Based on these statements, Cloud ALM simply a free software. But let´s check, if why we can apply freemium term to it.

Before we start, it is necessary to mention the aim of this blog post: there is a common opinion, that B2B product management t is a different world to a large extent comparing to B2C, with other instruments, and it is difficult to follow the modern trends in B2B software development.

The example, described in this blog post shows, no matter, what is the size and the complexity of software, it is possible to use product-driven product management modern methods to meat maximum users´ expectations, increase their involvement and retention.

Defining freemium

First of all, let´s understand, what freemium means. The easiest way to do this is via explaining difference between free and freemium software.

Free trial and freemium are both customer acquisition models that provide limited access to software, free of charge.

The fundamental difference between the two approaches is in where the limitation to product usage lies.

Free trials typically allow users to experience a complete or nearly complete product for a limited time. This means granting free users access to all features, functionality, and use cases for the duration of their trial.

A freemium product, by contrast, gives users access to a limited set of features, functionalities, and use cases indefinitely and without charge. There is no time limit, but parts of the product remain off-limits to free users.

Cloud ALM unlimited “limited” features

Being logged on Cloud ALM tenant you can open any app and create any entity (task/requirement/feature etc.).

Basically, the main workflow of Cloud ALM with all possible features is available from the scratch: we can go to the Projects app and create new projects of all possible types:

And this is exactly the point, when we are facing with freemium model. As you can see, all templates imply usage of SAP paid cloud software. Specifically by S/4HANA Cloud or SuccessFactors implementation projects you can reach all Cloud ALM advantages via pre-defined scopes, task lists and pre-delivered test cases.

To be fair, it is technically possible to create project without scope template, and all functions of Cloud ALM will be technically available, but missing business processes will significantly complicate project management: managing 3rd party FI-solution via Cloud ALM leads to the manual creation of all tasks and test-cases, loose of transport requests´ management and some other limitations. Why then implementing 3rd party FI-solution, and not SAP S/4HANA?

Moreover, at the first step of project creation it is possible to specify integration scenario, what means connecting SAP Central Business Configuration with SAP Cloud ALM. And connection of Cloud ALM to SAP Central Business Configuration obviously lead us to SAP S/4HANA Cloud usage.

Conclusion

The described above product model shows us, how different SAP cloud products stimulate users and companies to extend landscape with SAP solutions, providing the more advantages, features and even “free” applications, the more SAP products are involved in the IT landscape.

As the next step of this small research, we can even assume discussion of freemium landscape: in the end, typical for the freemium model functions´ limitations happens on a landscape level and not in the certain solution.