The New Rapid Reality

February 2, 2011 by Heather McIlvaine

Full Throttle

Rapid Deployment solutions offer implementations in less than 12 weeks (photo: Fotolia)

When a company needs a new or updated software solution to address its business needs that often means a customized solution with a lengthy implementation and training period. It’s a long-term investment with a price tag to match. In order to justify that kind of investment, companies require a return-on-investment that will deliver returns incrementally over time.

But buying behavior has changed, and today many companies are looking for an immediate solution to address a specific business need. For them, SAP Rapid Deployment solutions (RDS) offer a tantalizing promise: implementation in less than 12 weeks with software and service at a fixed price. We spoke with Bill Bowers, Vice President Rapid Deployments Solutions go-to-market, to find out how SAP Rapid Deployment solutions work and why they are part of the new reality.

What comes in the box?

Software, service, pre-configured content, and end-user enablement: Bill Bowers calls this combination the “secret sauce” of SAP Rapid Deployment solutions. At first glance, the ingredients may not appear to be much different from other software offerings, but what sets RDS apart is the fixed scope of software and service and the fixed price. This package provides customers a new level of predictability without compromising value – SAP best practices are integrated directly into the RDS development process ensuring high quality.

“Customers know exactly what they’re going to get in terms of software and value, how much they have to pay for it, and when they can start using it,” says Bill Bowers. Specific solutions for specific problems, SAP Rapid Deployment solutions offer a small, focused entry point for customers but also allow them to extend their solution over time. The idea behind RDS is to make a superior long-term solution easier to get started with.

Currently, there are 15 solutions on the market covering processes for sales, marketing, procurement, customer service, and call-center operations. Further solutions for other lines-of-business are set to be released in quarterly stages over the next year. SAP Rapid Deployment solutions, however, are not available to customers in all countries.

To ensure reliable delivery of fixed scope at cost and on time, SAP only offers the solutions in regions where SAP Consulting or a qualified partner can deliver the promised time to value. The SAP CRM rapid-deployment solution is the most widespread offering, now available in more than 25 countries across the globe and serviced by eight partners.

Read on: Welcome to the new reality

Bill Bowers, Vice President Rapid Deployments Solutions go-to-market (photo: SAP AG)

Bill Bowers, Vice President Rapid Deployments Solutions go-to-market (photo: SAP AG)

Welcome to the new reality

Today the people who make the buying decisions for software are often the people who actually need and use the solution, no longer just IT. “You can call it an economic shift, or the new reality, but essentially, the way in which companies consume technology has changed forever,” says Bowers. The new reality is primarily concerned with addressing immediate business needs; it calls for rapid responses to specific line-of-business problems with the option to grow and extend the solution over time.

There are already strong proponents of this shift like long-standing SAP customer Fujitsu. He recalls that after Fujitsu purchased SAP CRM RDS, the company asked to see the entire RDS portfolio – in the future, Fujitsu wants to purchase and deploy all software in rapid-deployment form.

For the new offering, such a story affirms the growing relevance of rapid deployment in the technology landscape. At the same time, Bowers is wary of customers who are interested in purchasing RDS but want to immediately increase scope and customize the RDS offering. He says, “What you see is what you get. In order to deliver on the promise, we need to maintain a binary approach initially. This is a different way of deploying and consuming SAP solutions and it offers the best of both worlds in on-demand and SaaS solutions as well as traditional on-premise solutions.”

Soon, customers in various lines-of-business will be able to get SAP Rapid Deployment solutions for their business needs. For example, heads of sales will be able to purchase Sybase Mobile Sales RDS for SAP CRM in the first quarter of 2011 and Sales Analytics RDS for SAP CRM later this year.

In December 2010, SAP delivered a new online web experience to further drive adoption of RDS in select markets. The online resource offers a complete customer experience at every stage: from discovery of RDS and information gathering, to updates and maintenance for current RDS users. Customers can access a 360 degree-view of SAP Rapid Deployment solutions through demos, customer feedback, step-by-step guides to implementation, and more. Experience it now: http://www.sap.com/usa/rds/index.epx

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