Professional Services Firms Choose SAP

Professional services companies face growing challenges from increased global competition, pricing pressures from a new “buyers market,” longer bidding cycles and increasing customer demand for substantial cost savings. Additionally, companies providing legal, audit and tax services are battling intensified government scrutiny and grappling with new regulations that require increased risk assessment and reporting processes. A core part of the SAP for Professional Services solution portfolio, mySAP CRM addresses these unique business challenges by providing tailored functionality to more effectively manage professional services firms’ core business processes, including managing new and existing opportunities, project execution and resource planning and utilization.
“Lead generation and service delivery are the bread and butter of a professional services organization,” said Matt Light, research director, Gartner, Inc. “A highly integrated project portfolio management solution can ensure more personalized service and faster responses to changing customer needs at every stage of a client engagement. With the right CRM solution and strategy, professional services firms can deliver highly complex projects at low costs to ensure superior client satisfaction and generate repeat business.”

Tools for full-circle management of client engagements

mySAP CRM helps ensure a complete view of the entire services process from lead to cash. This level of transparency helps professional services companies such as Esprit Consulting make efficient use of resources, saving the organization time and money and helping it battle the extended bidding cycles and competitive price constraints of today’s marketplace. The company is using the SAP CRM solution to create transparency in its time and expense reporting and invoicing and improve efficiency in contact, project and opportunity management.
“We needed a comprehensive solution that would target our specific industry needs and deliver clearer insight into our entire revenue line – from financials to project management and resource allocation,” said Lars Erdmann, partner, Esprit Consulting. “By improving data quality and using collaboration functionality, mySAP CRM helps us increase sales efficiency and get more and better-qualified leads to drive revenue and profitability.”

More transparency and a lower risk

Opportunity management functionality in mySAP CRM enables transparency across the customer pipeline and allows for better tracking of each bid being pursued. Coupled with the solution’s audit management tools, opportunity management allows professional services providers to cross-check for conflicts of interest and control risk. The solution also helps companies plan, structure and schedule projects. Project management features confirm each task before the project phase is approved, noting interdependencies and other constraints to help create reasonable milestones and fulfill project goals.
Project resource planning tools in mySAP CRM enable professional services firms to manage the full roster of consultants operating across various regions. This software feature searches for, selects and allocates staff to projects automatically by matching skills required with skills available. Professional service providers can now make the most effective use of human resources and knowledge assets to better manage sophisticated account requirements and achieve lasting, profitable customer relationships while obtaining a tangible, immediate return on their existing IT investment.
“In today’s economy, building close and long-standing client relationships is vital for professional services organizations challenged to enhance their portfolios and excel in operations and service delivery while keeping costs low,” said Peter Kirschbauer, member of the extended management board, SAP AG. “mySAP CRM gives professional services providers a competitive advantage by drawing upon SAP’s deep expertise from working with the industry’s top companies to help identify and qualify new business opportunities while efficiently managing current projects.” SAP will present its solutions together with its service, technology and small and midsize business (SMB) partners at SAP’s main booth in hall 4 at CeBIT 2004, being held in Hanover, Germany, March 18-24.

Source: SAP AG