From building new to upgrading or renovating, home-construction projects often require the help of a variety of contractors. Cement masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and heating system technicians - these professionals and many more play a critical part in the overall project. However, they own a particular set of expertise that cannot be duplicated by another role nor applied outside of their domain.
When implementing new technology, the experience should be no different. Both the implementation partner and the solution provider possess knowledge accumulated from years of experience. However, this is not information that should be kept in a silo. Instead, it should be exchanged freely with everyone involved to help the customer succeed in the end.
At SAP, we deliver this experience through our implementation support services as part of the New SAP MaxAttention engagement model. I sat down with Christian Langpape, vice president of IT Planning at SAP, to explore how this program is helping thousands of business worldwide navigate the transition to digital landscapes built for intelligent growth.
Q: Can you explain how implementation support plays a critical role in preparing our customers for the deployment of their digital investments?
A: There's an old German saying that states, 'You're building your first house for your enemies, your second one for your friends, and your third one for yourself.' The same is true when implementing new technology. The only trouble is that businesses cannot afford to go through three iterations of a deployment before they get it right.
With our implementation support services, we can make your implementation feel like the third house in that proverb. This systematic approach enables our customers to realize the benefits of resilient, sustainable, and flexible solutions quickly.
Based on the SAP Activate methodology, we have created product-specific implementation road maps that detail the activities and outcomes that must happen during the implementation of a specific SAP solution in a chosen deployment model. This information allows our customers to decide when and where they need support from SAP and what results to expect. Then, they can tap into the knowledge we have acquired from working with a variety of customers worldwide across 26 industries.
Our customers and their chosen implementation partners are never on their own. Our proven expertise is packaged in a way that helps them make decisions that deliver the expected outcomes as well as the operability and flexibility to innovate - on-premise, in the cloud, or within a hybrid environment.
Q: Why would our customers work with SAP if they have a partner on board?
A: Over 80 percent of SAP solution implementations are done by our partners, not SAP, assuming the lead role. Yet, we still want to be part of our customers' journeys, to help them succeed.
To do so, we offer a set of services that covers all relevant aspects in planning, designing, and safeguarding the implementation - with product-specific content for cloud and on-premise products from SAP. Methodology and outputs have been aligned across our services to help create a seamless execution without redundant efforts.
Offerings like the SAP Readiness Check tool and SAP Model Company act as accelerators to support the early phases of an implementation project:
SAP Readiness Check : This tool facilitates early, non-invasive analysis of the current system to determine convertibility.
SAP Model Company: Industry-specific model companies support a pre-configured setup for jump-starting a new implementation or serving as a standard best practice and process model to advance conversion projects with a partial redesign.
We also align our methodologies and content with those of our partners to help give customers a seamless project-execution experience without redundancy. Presented as one joint offering, the engagement operates under a pre-agreed approach and set of roles and responsibilities, even if SAP and the partner are under two separate contracts.
Q: What aspect of our implementation support services allows customers and their partners to bridge the gap between exploring digital strategies and realizing the positive, proactive change they need to stay competitive?
A: Under one offering, we address a variety of implementation project needs. This starts as early as the planning phase - where services cover everything from application planning, analytics strategy, integration assessment, technical architecture, and infrastructure down to detailed migration planning.
Critical topics for the design phase include:
Build design based on a fit-gap analysis or fit-to-standard approach
Data migration design
Custom code management
Our implementation support services deliver deployment services and respective methodologies and content in a standardized way based on a detailed understanding of the tasks and decisions required to implement a specific SAP solution. This approach allows us to guide customer implementations to help ensure the completeness of our customers' vision with accurate and expected outcomes.
Over the next few weeks, we will offer a real-world view of these focus topics that can help your business acquire the foundation and capabilities of an intelligent enterprise. Bookmark our series landing page and check it each week. In the meantime, read our overview of the new SAP MaxAttention, 'Customer Success for the Intelligent Enterprise,' to discover the opportunities ahead for your business. And for more information, reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Leja is director of SAP MaxAttention Solution Marketing.Follow him onLinkedIn.
Christian Langpape is vice president of IT Planning. Follow him on LinkedIn.