How to select an SAP system implementation provider?
Nowadays, choosing the right vendor to provide an SAP implementation service is not easy.
The manager couldn’t rely on the traditional approach, waiting for the selection by the procurement office. To make the right selection, you must ensure your selected SI has:
- Industry experience and industry-specific tools
- Strength of the proposed SI core team members
- Technical depth and bench strength of resources
- Competency balance
- Situational awareness
- Proactive communicators
Understanding the software product and ensuring that there’s a competency balance between what the SI brings to the table versus your own internal talent is most important. You also want the SI to bring situational awareness, meaning that they can prove that they’ve done these kinds of projects before. The SI also needs to be proactive in communications. They should not only identify issues for you, but they should give you the lead time necessary to make big decisions on these projects.
In CIO.com, the writer proposed 4 critical success factors, the details are as below.
- Engaging Executives:
You will need to start with executive-level engagement. The executive engagement affords the opportunity to communicate your program objectives and your desired outcomes at an executive level and offers you the ability to support that with cross-functional engagement with your lines of business and your IT counterparts with your prospective SI. You need this cross-functional team to drive the change management process with support from your procurement team.
In addition, SAP implementation is extremely complex and has impacts across all areas of your business. To avoid implementation failures, setting up realistic timelines upfront conditions you and your SI for the complexity.
- Qualifying prospective
With SAP Implementations, companies often also need to address transformation support for satellite/ supporting capabilities like Hybris, Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass, C/4HANA, and S/4HANA. The tower leaders within these areas each have specific requirements, expectations, and objectives that need to be communicated and aligned with each SI.
- Assessing the proposals
Please start with assessing two things: the completeness of the proposals.
Have all aspects of your request been addressed within each response? If not, notify your provider of the incomplete response and allow limited time for them to close the gap.
And then, once you have complete responses from all providers, assess how each response has addressed all aspects of your scope. Did they respond to all aspects of the proposal? Identify what elements in each response are deemed in-scope and out-of-scope. This allows you to compare responses in an apples-to-apples manner.
Last but not least, analyzing each provider’s risk profile, how much risk are they actually taking when they provide the proposal?
- Partner and Solution alignment
SAP implementation is a program and not just individual events of an SI engagement and an SAP purchase. There is a cross-solution alignment that needs to be put together that addresses not only your SI participation but any third party they may require as part of their proposal.
In addition, you need to assess which provider is reliant on SAP resources and to what areas and to what extent, and you need to consider the support you will need from your first release through your last.
The above best practices help to make the best selection for your organization and avoid making mistakes.