Partners Focus on Quality

November 4, 2011 by Jacqueline Prause

SAP partners looking for a way to differentiate themselves from the competition now have an additional means to show customers that they hold the key to success for their upcoming IT projects. That key is top-notch quality management and dedicated resources direct from SAP.

The SAP-supported Active Quality Management (AQM) partner accreditation program puts the spotlight on quality to help partners improve customer satisfaction, drive success, and minimize risks. And it’s getting customers’ attention, too – resulting in more bid wins for partners. “Since we work with the AQM framework, our bids are different from the competitors, especially since we offer more value to increase our customers’ satisfaction. This means higher sales,” says Sebastian Bamonde, SAP director at Tecnocom, an SAP partner in Spain that has been in the AQM program since 2010.

Quality Built In

The AQM partner quality program, part of SAP Partner Service Delivery, is designed to support SAP partners in providing more predictable, profitable implementations through unified quality standards and procedures. Participating partners receive an SAP global accreditation for the active management of their sales processes and delivery methodologies based on their fulfillment of an annual quality plan and quarterly quality reviews. Begun in 2010, the program is part of SAP’s efforts to further deepen its collaborative relationships with partners and customers and to raise awareness for quality principles.

To achieve accreditation, partners must develop a quality plan that aligns with SAP’s quality principles, fully participate in the AQM program for at least six months, complete a minimum of two sales or delivery cycles, and demonstrate lessons learned from past projects.

Upon achieving AQM accreditation, partners receive the AQM Partner Kit, which contains tools and templates to help them build up a robust quality management system in their organization. They also receive access to premium services in the form of regular, collaborative discussions with dedicated Partner Quality Advisors. These advisors underscore the value of the AQM program. With visibility of over 450 projects, they provide qualified guidance and advice to partners throughout their implementation projects. This direct and immediate collaboration with experienced SAP experts helps partners to maximize benefits and mitigate potential project risks – thus avoiding costly escalations that can damage credibility. Experts are further available to accredited partners through e-training opportunities in the form of remote, collaborative quality workshops designed to help partners grow their SAP business.

Quality Brings Success at Unión Fenosa Gas

In the case of Tecnocom, a member of the AQM program since 2010, the benefits from joining the program were immediate, as it was able to quickly put to use the tools and templates from the AQM Partner Kit to bring a focused quality approach to its bids. This approach made a difference for one customer, Unión Fenosa Gas Group, a large Spanish gas and electricity concern. Although Tecnocom was competing against other partners with similar profiles, Unión Fenosa Gas chose Tecnocom because it gave them the greatest confidence of success through its participation in the AQM partner quality program and its competitive pricing.

The project at Unión Fenosa Gas, begun in 2010, required implementing SAP ERP Financials, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, SAP ERP Human Capital Management, and SAP Supply Chain Management, as well as integrating the SAP software with other non-SAP applications. The geographic scope of the project covered Spain and Egypt.

During the project, Unión Fenosa Gas and Tecnocom created a quality plan to guide decision making. Both sides met on a monthly basis to analyze and review quality aspects of the project. These regular, open discussions not only ensured the focus on maximizing benefits and minimizing risks, it also gave Tecnocom the opportunity to analyze additional customer needs that could necessitate extending and enhancing the initial solution, for example, with visualization solutions from Nakisa and Vendor Invoice Management from Open Text. This quality approach throughout the nine-month project contributed to a successful go-live in early 2011. With the new SAP software up and running, Unión Fenosa Gas now intends to submit the project for the Quality Awards in EMEA in 2012.

“The SAP Implementation project in Unión Fenosa Gas Group performed by Tecnocom, has been a live project in which the initial solutions have been adding further ones, all this in a multi-company and multinational environment,” says Jaime Santamaría, resource director at Unión Fenosa Gas. “It has been done on time and has required a major effort to coordinate the need for connection with other business non-SAP systems.”

Gaining Customer Confidence

Tecnocom is among 350 partners worldwide that use the AQM accreditation to show their customers that they have the key to deliver a predictable and successful project with quality assurance built in. In explaining the value of the AQM partner program, Bamonde says, “From a project perspective we have an improved service delivery, focused on minimizing risks and maximizing results. And the impact: customers have even more confidence in our services.”

For more information about the AQM partner quality program, contact AQM@sap.com

For more information, you can watch a video about the AQM partner quality program and visit the SAP AQM Channel Portal page.

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