Consumption-based SCP Pricing - Initial Thoughts

Back in August 2017 I made some observations on SAP Cloud Platform Pricing. I had been somewhat underwhelmed by the clarity and flexibility, particularly for smaller projects and businesses.

This week saw the announcement of a brand new pricing approach and website for the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP), which, judging by the reaction, was a very welcome piece of news. To many, the key change is the introduction of a consumption-based pricing model, as an alternative to the existing subscription-based model. Not only that, but the website offers a pricing estimation calculator which, if I've done things right, shows that consumption-based costs for the small project I described in my earlier post are not unreasonable.

It's still early days but the situation looks much better. As well as the cost, which I'll get to shortly, there are improvements in the two areas that were causing concern last time I looked - clarity and flexibility.

The very fact that the consumption-based model allows you to pick what services you want, without having to perform mental gymnastics while looking at a complex PDF document (which still exists for the subscription-based model), is a big plus. There's also a guided section which shows which services are additionally required, if any, and lets you add those to the estimate. For example, the use of the Workflow service requires the Portal and Web IDE services. The fact that you can turn the dial up and down on units (number of users, site visits, etc) and see the estimate change accordingly, is great.

estimate

Moreover, as you can see from the estimate I quickly put together just now, to reflect Workflow and Business Rules services, the monthly cost is not scary. Of course, it could always be lower, but in the context of a real project and subsequent productive use, the fee is minor.

I've just scratched the surface here, and will be digging to this a little more over the coming weeks. There are few things I'd like to see already. For example, the estimate calculator itself is a little slow to load (I've just gone back to it and only have a busy spinner right now). And I saw somewhere that Business Rules is included when you choose the Workflow service, but I don't see this confirmed in the estimate summary.

Overall, I think this is a very good step in the right direction and gives SCP more than a fighting chance to compete. It's hard to consider a service if the usage costs are opaque and / or prohibitive. This new pricing announcement heralds changes that can only be seen as positive.