Businesses in SAP Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) are on the hunt for new ways to use mobile and cloud technologies to gain strategic advantage in their industries. That’s what a recent customer probe by Network Consulting Group (NCG), an SAP service and channel partner based in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, has revealed.
NCG undertook this research as part of the annual planning it performs with customers to define new IT initiatives for the upcoming year. Seventy percent of its customers are Latin American midsize companies from key industries, such as consumer products and retail. NCG identified a trend towards increased investment in mobility solutions to optimize information for strategic areas, such as sales and marketing. Many of its customers also voiced strong interest in evaluating the benefits of cloud technology in the medium-term future (between 12 to 24 months). They were specifically interested in discerning business processes, such as human resources, that could be moved to the cloud to free up central computing capacity.
Customers value the benefits of cloud
“It is interesting to identify a growing dynamic among customers investing in SAP mobility solutions followed by cloud solutions,” says Milagros Cordobés, NCG’s business development manager. “The customers value the benefits of cloud – like its flexibility to expand following the company’s growth, easy installation, integration, and security.”
Cloud provides a compelling business case when it comes to supporting the needs of enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean, where many companies do not have enough space, infrastructure, or budget to have their own data center. SAP customers in the region have recognized the potential for cloud to solve these issues for them. As a result, SAP Cloud subscriptions for Northern Latin America have seen triple-digit growth.
“We can see consistent growth in innovative areas such as cloud and mobility in the Venezuela and the Caribbean region. This allows instant extension of our local business productivity through the most comprehensive, adaptable, and agile solutions,” says Ricardo Cruz, Regional Head of SAP Partner Service Delivery, Latin America & Caribbean. “Congratulations to partners who are aligned with SAP innovation strategy aiming to help customers to improve the success of their business.”
NCG: Specialists in SAP HANA, cloud, mobility, and analytics
An SAP partner since 1996, NCG is a leader in local consulting services for customers in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its mission is to deliver excellence and continuous improvement to its customers based on their market needs. This requires NCG to keep pace with SAP innovations and solutions. In parallel, it relies on a strategy of specialization on the latest SAP technologies, such as SAP HANA, cloud, mobility, and analytics. Among the company’s current projects is the development of a pre-configured rapid-deployment solution for enterprise mobility that will enable customers to gain greater efficiency and security, with lowered total-cost-of-ownership and reduced implementation time. “According to NCG’s vision, there is a lot to do – especially around industries such as mass consumer industry, retail, banking, and insurance,” says Iveliza Toro, NCG’s director.
Next page: Benefits of SAP Partner Quality program
Quality is a key factor for NCG when it comes to customer projects. Therefore, in 2012, NCG joined the SAP Partner Quality program, one of a range of quality services offered by SAP Partner Service Delivery (PSD). Participation in the program provided NCG with the latest quality management tools and best practices from SAP to keep pursuing excellence throughout its services. In May 2013, after 6 months in the program, NCG achieved the SAP Partner Quality program accreditation for its high quality standards and processes in alignment with SAP’s 10 Quality Principles. With this achievement, NCG became the first accredited SAP partner in the Dominican Republic and one of its top accredited partners in Venezuela. It is now well positioned to ensure that its customer projects are delivered to specification, on time, and on budget.
“Working closely with NCG representatives has been a great experience for the SAP Partner Quality team,” says Bárbara Reis, SAP PSD partner quality advisor. “Since the beginning, they had a complete understanding of the effort needed and the path to successfully achieve their quality accreditation. It is an honor to work with such a professional partner as NCG.”
SAP Partner Quality program: better integration among MDs, managers, and consultants
According to the team at NCG, the SAP Partner Quality program has resulted in both internal and customer-facing benefits, which will help drive success in upcoming customer projects. For example, the project team now uses SAP Partner Quality program tools, which have improved the integration and alignment among managing directors, managers, and consultants. A quality assurance committee has also been integrated into NCG’s project office to ensure continuous improvement within all implementation projects.
Next page: First SAP Afaria project in Venezuela
Customers will also notice updates in NCG’s project methodology. NCG has improved risk identification in customer projects, so it can start mitigating these risks in advance, thereby decreasing potential impact on the project. The team also ensures that the lessons learned in each project phase are carried over and the corrections applied in the next phase. As a result, customer satisfaction is up at NCG.
One of the first customers to benefit from NCG’s participation in the SAP Partner Quality program was Laboratorios Leti S.A.V., a regional pharmaceuticals firm based in Caracas. Laboratorios Leti became the first company in Venezuela to implement SAP Afaria, which it uses to manage and secure the mobile devices of its chief executives and owners.
Knowledge transfer key to successful implementation
The main risk in this project was in the knowledge transfer required to make the NCG team experts on the SAP solution, which would in turn help them deliver a successful implementation. By applying the lessons of the SAP Partner Quality program, NCG was able to expertly mitigate this risk through thorough preparation. In the process, it consolidated a dedicated team of specialists on SAP Afaria, who also empowered other members of its team through their knowledge transfer and experience. “I am always receiving great feedback from NCG customers and project success stories,” says Lizmar Blanco, SAP partner account manager. “NCG has decided to strongly invest in expanding its strategy to Latin American and Caribbean countries. It is doing a great job in supporting its customers in project delivery success.”