Solution Content from a Single Source

Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

Over the past few years, SAP customers have consistently been asking for solutions to their business problems, rather than products. They also want to understand what concrete benefits SAP solutions can provide.

“Customers get lost in a sea of content with dozens of different places to go,” says Peter Maier, industry sector head, Energy & Resources, referring to the sales assets that SAP offers customers. “What they want is easy to consume, business-value-oriented content that explains SAP’s portfolio in a solution context, and then points to the required products and software licenses.”

The answer: SAP Solution Explorer

SAP’s “Solution Content Strategy 2013” project is intended to change that situation. This is the first step for turning SAP into a company that sells solutions rather than positioning each individual product. It basically consists of four elements:

  1. Industry and LoB value maps as a framework to structure solution content in a business-value-oriented way
  2. The tying in of technological innovations from mobility, analytics, and database & technology to highlight our key innovations and differentiators, while linking this back to the industries and LoBs
  3. A new set of executive level resources that emphasize added value from the industry perspective, from business priorities down to the solution level
  4. SAP Solution Explorer as the tool for customers and the sales portfolio as the tool for sales in order bring this strategy to life

Next page: A single, simple source for solution content

SAP Solution Explorer, the new tool for customers, is being positioned as a single platform for understanding and obtaining information about the full spectrum of SAP solutions in the customer’s industry and line of business.

“Now we have a single, simple source for solution content that explains the business value of our solutions to key decision makers in business and IT,” says Denise Broady, SVP, Solution Marketing and CMI. “SAP Solution Explorer makes it much simpler for customers to buy our solutions, because we explain the why, the what, and the how.”

Business and solution oriented, easy to use

The SAP Solution Explorer, which up to SAPPHIRE NOW was available as a test version, has been tested with a number of customers via the German and American SAP user groups DSAG and ASUG.  “Customers already love the beta-version for its business orientation, simplicity, clear content and pointers to required products and licenses,” says Georg Kube, responsible for SAP’s solution content strategy. “I have presented the value maps and SAP Solution Explorer many times, and customers always find it easy to engage with on the level of business priorities, and then drill down into the solution perspective,” says Kube.

Next page: Value maps show value of SAP solutions

CP ValueMap
Photo: Screenshot
Value maps show the strategic value of SAP’s solutions for industries and lines of business. Here, a value map for consumer product industries.

Value maps are simple depictions that show the strategic value of SAP’s solutions for industries and lines of business. They provide a framework for telling a relevant, integrated solution story.

Value map: industry, business priorities and solutions

A value map consists of four elements:

  • The industry itself (the name at the top)
  • Business priorities (gray boxes). These are the topics that customers talk about in their boardrooms and invest money in. Examples for the consumer product industry include real-time marketing or demand-driven supply chains.
  • End-to-end solutions (blue boxes). These are the things that SAP sells: combinations of products that come together to solve business problems for customers and support business priorities.
  • Technology solutions (green boxes). These are solutions that solve business problems by applying technology, but they are also technology strategies.

The value maps don’t show everything that SAP has to offer, they are only what SAP considers most relevant. The customer and the sales employees can always revert to the complete catalog of SAP solutions.

Next page: The sales portfolio for the field

“With customers empowered to find the exact solutions that fit their business needs, together with all required software products and licenses, we now need to make sure that our own field speaks the same language and has the same information, plus a lot more,” says Georg.

“This is where the sales portfolio for 2013 comes in. The sales portfolio application is also structured around value maps and provides a lot of additional assets to help the sales field sell.

On the same page: customers, sales and partners

Some examples are: rapid deployment solutions, sales plays, sales assets, references, internal communities, demos.”

This ensures that customers, field employees, and – in the future – partners are looking at the same set of solutions and speak the same language.