The Flexibility of SAP Best Practices

Korean IT developer and provider Biztech Consulting (BTC) provides a wide range of services, ranging from enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation to system management, feasibility studies, and IT outsourcing. The company is also becoming involved in mobile solutions for the telecommunications industry in Korea and East Asia.
Over the years, BTC has acquired SAP implementation expertise in the hi-tech, automotive, mill, and chemical industries. For example, the firm performed the first implementation in Korea of SAP R/3 on Windows NT for a small and midsize business (SMB) customer. It has also implemented almost 10 SAP and mySAP solutions for SMB customers in Korea and other East Asian countries.
In 2002, BTC developed its own solution for the SMB market – its major area of focus for the preceding three years. For this solution, it used preconfigured client technology which worked well but had inherent limitations. The most vexing factor being that it was not flexible: If a customer wanted to change predefined processes or add new ones, the system had to be totally reconfigured. This was time-consuming and labor-intensive for BTC, and it delayed projects for customers.
Over the past year, however, BTC has turned to developing BizExpert, a mySAP All-in-One solution based on the SAP Best Practices (BP) Baseline package. According to the company, this approach has proved far more flexible and reduced implementation costs – a major driver on the SMB market. BTC has also found that SAP Best Practices provides good hands-on training for entry-level consultants and senior consultants coming from other industries.

The importance of Best Practices

According to BTC, SAP Best Practices, with its broad range of preconfigured functionality, provides a firm foundation for developing a mySAP All-in-One solution that can be easily tailored to any specific country and industry. Particularly its Building Block technology, with well-structured and fully packaged programs and documentation, offers a major advance in development over previous methods.
The BizExpert development project began with analysis of the BP Baseline package, which took roughly four weeks. During this time, the company also gathered requirements from its customers through interviews and a questionnaire developed in the BizExpert Workshop. BTC then matched business processes from the BP Baseline package to customer requirements and determined the add-ons required, a process which took another month. BTC added almost 20 business processes developed in-house to over 30 BP Building Blocks. Finally, the company put together documentation using the VSDK template, which it says greatly speeded the process. The configuration CD also saved time in the testing phase.
BTC points to three key factors contributing to its success in developing a mySAP All-in-One-based solution:

  • Expertise in vertical industry sectors: SMB customers are looking for tangible, demonstrable solutions that will handle their day-to-day transactions. BTC consultants understand specific industry requirements and talk in industry terms, which provides a key advantage. Their experience enabled them to choose which processes in the BP Baseline package were essential for Korean customers and which others to develop as add-ons for BizExpert.
  • Top-quality technicians: When it comes to putting together the add-ons, BTC relies on its long-standing technical experience with programming in ABAP to meet Korean customer requirements.
  • SAP Support: BTC notes that the Building Block methodology in SAP Best Practices greatly simplifies the design of the overall solution architecture. The documentation provides a standardized approach, which speeds development. In addition, SAP Labs and SAP Korea hosted numerous training sessions. SAP Labs sent in specialists to support development, which proved essential to success, and SAP Korea’s SMB team also provided full support during the development phase.

Moving ahead

BTC plans to use BizExpert, based on mySAP All-in-One Best Practices, as a “beachhead” for further penetration of the SMB market. SMB customers, the company explains, are looking for an out-of-the-box product with full functionality – but one that is available on a slim budget. So far, the firm has experienced good pre-sales, proof-of-concept sessions, and actual implementations at two customer sites, with several more planned for the end of 2004. The BizExpert solution for the automotive industry is now in the SAP qualification process and a solution for the process industry is in the development stage.
BTC hosted three workshops on BizExpert during 2004. According to the firm, the prospects attending found them useful and practical because they provide hands-on demonstration of how major business processes work in mySAP All-in-One, using the actual SAP interface and showing exactly how a transaction is processed. Customers can see in advance how mySAP All-in-One will support them in their daily transactions and how it provides analytic reports to help in the decision-making process.
The BizExpert demo sessions also proved a relief for the BTC consultants. Previously, preparation for such sessions required building a demo from scratch. However, with mySAP All-in-One, they only needed to check master data and test a few transactions a day or two before the session. BTC offers its thanks to the Best Practices team from SAP Labs China and the SMB Team from SAP Korea for their help in developing the solution. Their support and the quality of the mySAP All-in-One solution, says the company, saved much time and effort in developing BizExpert.

Derek Davis
Derek Davis