The Bridge Solution Group (BSG) of Korea was formed as an application service provider (ASP) in 2000, hiring consultants with several years’ experience in major global consulting firms. At first, the company offered enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation, consulting, and ASP service through SAP. By its second year it had expanded to EIS, enterprise application integration (EAI), e-business, and information strategy planning.
The company’s main target is the upper end of the small and midsize (SMB) market, where clients look for a reasonably priced, high-quality product with a short implementation time. BSG has found that mySAP All-in-One fits perfectly with its implementation and consulting approach.
BSG services are divided into two areas: IT consulting and IT outsourcing service. IT consulting covers ERP implementation, business intelligence (including EIS), and EAI. Here, the company views its strengths as coming first and foremost from its consulting staff – smart people with extensive project experience who have led prominent global companies. BSG also concentrates on “efficient and slim consulting” – focusing on the essentials of the whole IT process from current analysis to future process design and system implementation. To maximize this approach, the consultants have developed templates for specific industries. As a final selling point, following implementation, BSG can offer the client integration of consulting with outsourcing.
IT outsourcing provides the larger share of BSG business, which currently boasts 15 SAP application management service (AMS) customers, three of whom are AMS-only (that is, BSG provided AMS following an SAP implementation performed by another consulting company). For the other 12, BSG provided both SAP implementation and AMS.
The company sees its Client Care Center as one of its major strengths in this area. Through this key organization responsible for system maintenance, experts on the specific applications handle inquiries and requests concerning application management, program development, software and hardware problems, and security management. In addition, BSG’s EchoLine client care system maintains a private communication channel where clients can raise issues, monitor the resolution process, or access knowledge from the knowledge base. Finally, BSG’s internal Client Service Innovation Process uses the results of formal client satisfaction investigations to continuously upgrade the level of service. The results: BSG service is rated by clients at no lower than 90 percent.
mySAP All-in-One development
According to BSG, success in developing its SMARTfit (BSG branding of mySAP All-in-One) solution rests firmly on the company’s own internal support – obtaining agreement from all BSG members on the necessity for a particular solution. This support includes sponsorship from top management to establish a dedicated development team, active involvement of all development team members, assigning adequate time and budget to the project, and a knowledge-transfer session to spread the concept of mySAP All-in-One.
SAP support has also been crucial to development, ranging from best-practices workshops conducted by SAP Labs to meetings at least once a month between the SAP technical advisor/solution manager and the SMARTfit R&D team. One recommendation from BSG: Since most Korean SMB clients are not proficient in English, it would be helpful for SAP to translate more of its documents into Korean.
The company has found that developing a BSG-owned industry solution is the right road to travel. Though the process initially requires a good deal of time and effort devoted to understanding the mySAP baseline package and SAP industry best practices, development lead time for future solutions will shorten as the BSG R&D team learns how to use best practices through repeated exposure.
Four-month development process
Development of a SMARTfit solution takes slightly over four months for BSG. As an example, the schedule for development of SMARTfit for Chemicals this year includes roughly three weeks of preparation, followed by six weeks of design, another six weeks of product development, and a final four weeks of assembling documentation, Sales Kit, training materials, and product packaging.
The development process itself involves BSG referencing “SAP Best Practice” as the development platform for a specific industry on a SAP R/3 Enterprise base. “Best Practice-Baseline Package (Korea)” plays an important role by acting as a benchmark in order to identify process scenario gaps via comparison of original perceived project deliverables with “Business Process Procedures” in “Best Practice”. Next, the development team models the documentation structure of “Best Practice”, which gives insight about how to organize / sequence documentation in SMARTfit Solution. They then look for reusable contents delivered by Best Practice, like “Scenario Overview Slides” and “Scenario Description” to cut short the preparation time for Sales Kit etc. in SMARTfit Solution. For the implementation, SAP Tutor is used to train client users and junior consultants. SAP Tutor training materials also form the basis for the Sales Kit.
BSG is planning a phased approach to marketing SMARTfit for Chemicals. During development, the firm will concentrate on building up the environment and marketing tools. It will conduct “keyword marketing” through a major Korean web search engine, an approach deemed quite cost-effective in maximizing brand exposure in the highly e-oriented Korean business environment. BSG will also develop a website for SMARTfit promotion and e-presence. In a broader campaign, the company is hoping to organize an e-community spanning both SAP consultants and SMB decision-makers involved in ERP implementation.
During the first phase, BSG is also preparing the content for the second phase, which will follow the launch of SMARTfit and involve direct, action-oriented activities such as a country-wide road show for potential clients, direct marketing, advertising, and public relations.