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     Don´t just sell SAP, think BIG!


A few weeks ago, I went to Walldorf for a training about Financials in SAP Business ByDesign. I love being in Walldorf because it always gives me the opportunity to get in touch with people who do similar things but have their own perspective and ideas about SAP, the SAP Eco System and the IT industry.

I talked to one of the SAP Partner Enablement Managers during the lunch break and probably had one of the most eye-opening talks I´ve ever had with somebody who works with SAP products. I started to understand the whole eco system and what SAP is actually doing right now. Because this talk and the research I did afterwards really changed my whole understanding of the SAP market, I want to throw some ideas at you that may change your thinking and leverage your capabilities as a consultant or sales person working with SAP.

1. Most people who work with SAP don´t think out-of-the-box!

So many SAP partners and their employees still live in the old SAP ERP (ECC) world and are relucant to move on to SAP S/4HANA and other new technologies and SAP products. SAP ERP (ECC) guaranteed an easy and comfortable life for many years to consultants who´re now forced to move on to new technologies and the next big things that SAP put on the market.  Moving on to the Cloud as a consultant is still considered to be risky and many don´t believe that the Cloud is actually going to make it in the ERP market. This applies especially to products like SAP Business ByDesign which are considered to be "dead" (but are actually very much alive!).

2. SAP`s partners sell the wrong products!

It sounds pretty bad but in a lot of cases it´s actually true. We still have a lot of SAP partner companies in the market who sell SAP ERP (ECC) projects to medium-sized businesses who should never buy On-premise ERP software. Especially not the out-dated stuff that is much more expensive than other products that SAP offers meanwhile. Products that fit much better and are easier and cheaper to implement! A new thinking is required and a broad knowledge about the SAP Eco System to offer and sell what´s right for the customer.

3. SAP´s partners don´t understand the SAP Eco System!

In some cases I would say, SAP partner´s don´t get the system, in other cases that they don´t know what´s out there and ready to be sold. SAP offers a broad range of products that should
be chosen wisely to create a smart and effective IT eco system. This starts with picking the right ERP systems for holdings but requires also to have fitting ERP systems for subsidiaries who need entirely different software to be successful on the market.

4. Both, On-Premise and the Cloud are important!

Both, On-Premise and Cloud are important to create a sophisticated and successful SAP Eco System for a company. While a holding will most likely go with SAP S/4HANA On-Premise,
the subsidiaries should go with Cloud solutions such as S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Business ByDesign. You´ll ask yourself why this is important. Holdings often times require flexible SAP systems that can be tailored to complex processes. Processes are always much more complicated in a holding in Germany than in a subsidiary somewhere in France or South America. That´s why SAP S/4HANA On-Premise fits much better than Cloud ERP soultions because developments are easier.
In case of a subsidiary it makes much more sense to choose an easy to implement Cloud solution that offers best practice processes that should be used as a template for processes that are much less complex and easy to put into the Cloud. The implementation of Cloud solutions is also much faster and ensures a high scalibility. Rollouts can be done much faster and are more flexible.

5. SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Business ByDesign are competing products?

No, they´re not! They simply serve the same purpose in different areas. While SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a much more sophisticated Cloud solution, SAP Business ByDesign is made for less-complex process landscapes but is still a strong product and enough for many companies. Depending on the complexity of the processes of a subsidiary, either SAP Business ByDesign or SAP S/4HANA Cloud can be implemented. Both solutions can be implemented quickly and work with best practice processes. A big corporation should consider using both solutions. Always with the mindset
of picking the right Cloud solution for a subsidiary.

6. SAP`s Eco System consists of more than SAP ERP (ECC)!

SAP´s portfolio consists of a lot of products that all have their purpose. I still don´t know a lot of them but know enough to make the statement that there´s no product that is able to cover all of the processes of a corporation. Cross-selling makes sense when a company starts having really complex processes in sales for instance. When a Company is already on SAP S/4HANA On-Premise in the holding and SAP Business ByDesign in the subsidiaries it makes total sense to sell SAP C/4HANA as a CRM front-end solution while the built-in functionalities of SAP S/4HANA On-Premise are being used in the holding. The same applies to Analytics and HR solutions that SAP offers. They have the purpose to leverage HR capabilities and create an IT eco system that is integrated and connected and can be easily analyzed in real-time with the right tools.

I hope I could give you a new perspective on the SAP Eco System and motivated you to think more out-of-the-box. Start doing research on other software that SAP offers. Start thinking BIG!
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