4 Secrets of Customer Success with SAP
SAP customer success is a priority for the company and its certified solution managed services providers — Protera included. But how do you recognize customer success as an SAP user? How can you know that an SAP service provider is likely to deliver the exceptional experience you expect?
That’s what we’ll cover in the sections that follow. First, we’ll dive into SAP’s own customer-first vision (and how they execute it). Then we’ll walk through four secrets of SAP customer success to look for in potential service providers.
- Thorough discovery and preparation are critical for setting a foundation for success during solution implementation.
- Benchmarking creates high success visibility throughout implementation and allows for quicker recognition of potential issues.
- Customization should be kept to a minimum to maintain agile transformation abilities.
4 Secrets of Customer Success with SAP
As a current or potential SAP user, there are critical “keys to success” you should look for in the service provider you choose. Let’s explore 4 of the most important of these tenets:
Knowing your customer
This one sounds obvious, but it’s also most core to what SAP and SAP service providers do. In today’s IT environment, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, especially when it comes to systems as comprehensive as SAP’s. The first step to implementing the right solution plan for a customer is to understand everything about them: mission, business model, current state, successes, challenges, goals, budget and more.
This starts with discovery during the sales process and continues with a collaborative approach to solution implementation.
Next is a thorough preparation period before solution implementation. This typically involves a detailed assessment of a customer’s current IT infrastructure state and other business needs to determine the best course of action.
While customers themselves may be eager to jump to solution implementation, SAP providers know the preparation is equally important — if not more so — to success as the solution itself. Guiding a customer through an initial assessment and other preparation steps also facilitates customer satisfaction through better self-awareness and understanding. In the end, this helps the customer to see the impact of their SAP solutions with more clarity.
- Source systems data gathering
- Risk assessment
- S/4HANA readiness pre-assessment
- Target architecture and diagram
- Project plan generation
- Predictive cost estimation
This level of preparation not only saves hundreds of hours of planning, but also avoids any surprises later on in the implementation process around timeline, cost, or outcomes.
SAP implementations typically involve a phased approach, and your implementation plan should include benchmark metrics to be achieved during each phase. Not only does this set expectations for you and your provider throughout the process, it creates high success visibility so you can see exactly how the solution is making an impact.
Benchmarking also mitigates risk for customer dissatisfaction by allowing you and your provider to easily see areas where results are falling short and make the necessary adjustments.
Benchmarking should continue past initial implementation through to system maintenance to ensure you continue to meet intended goals and yield expected ROI.
Last but not least is an intentional approach to customization — one in which you can tailor SAP programs to your needs and business objectives, but not at the expense of your ability to innovate, improve, and transform. SAP’s CEO, Christian Klein, calls this starting with a “clean digital core” — one that has zero customizations (or at least as few as possible).
Excessive customization is not only impossible to translate to cloud environments, it prevents optimization of AI-powered, automated, and otherwise streamlined workflows with high levels of integration and agile development methodologies.
As more companies aim to migrate IT infrastructures to the cloud, a key to SAP customer success will be to keep customization to a minimum and help customers (many of whom are accustomed to highly-customized, on-premise systems) adjust to this approach.
Start Your SAP Transformation with Protera
As your organization embarks on its SAP journey, it’s critical to find a partner with the right expertise and resources to guide you through the process. Customers choose Protera for our deep SAP and cloud expertise, cost savings (typically 30-50%) and personalized customer support services.
- Cloud Modernization
- SAP Migration, Management & Transformation
- Data Intelligence
- IT Security & Governance
Contact us to learn more about Protera’s SAP services.