SAP Best Practices has never been a one-man show, and SAP is keen to keep it that way. Partners have shaped its development from the outset and it is a combination of SAP and partner expertise that has made SAP Best Practices what it is today. The most recent example of successful SAP and partner collaboration on a SAP Best Practices version is the cooperation between SAP, itelligence AG, Plaut, and BSI GmbH on development of SAP Best Practices for High Tech – V3.46C. SAP worked side by side with all three partners in a development team that pooled SAP’s technology skills and the valuable business process expertise of its partners. Five heads were certainly better than one and the end result was a flexible SAP Best Practices package tailored to the needs of today’s high tech customers. Plaut will use this SAP Best Practices for High Tech version as the starting point for its mySAP All-in-One solution for the high tech and electronics industry. itelligence has already gone to market with its newly qualified it.hightronics solution based on SAP Best Practices for High Tech – V3.46C.
Exert your influence
Like the SAP Best Practices for High Tech development partners, many mySAP All-in-One partners use SAP Best Practices as the foundation for their own industry solutions. So it makes sense for these partners to be party to new development projects and bring their influence to bear on future SAP Best Practices versions. Of course, joint development is not just about making SAP Best Practices “partner-friendly”. The aim is to make SAP Best Practices versions more market- and industry-friendly. With both the partner and SAP at the drawing board, SAP Best Practices become even more demand-driven and market-oriented. Partners are able to steer SAP Best Practices development in a direction that meets its customers’ requirements more specifically and directly influence the choice of business scenarios and preconfigured content. In this way, partners can lay the groundstones for future development of their mySAP All-in-One solutions – and save themselves a lot of time and effort into the bargain.
Ahead of the game
The more closely a SAP Best Practices version meets partner requirements, the quicker partners are able to go to market with their mySAP All-in-One solution. Partners can use SAP Best Practices as it stands, immediately after completion. Or if fine-tuning is required, partners are well prepared in advance and can use the skills they have learned at SAP during development to build their own mySAP All-in-One solutions in minimal time. In itelligence’s case, the jointly developed SAP Best Practices for High Tech – V3.46C met all of the criteria for their mySAP All-in-One solution and it.hightronics was developed and qualified within three months of the release of SAP Best Practices for High Tech – V3.46C.
Being in on the action from day one also gives partners a powerful advantage in terms of positioning and rollout of their solutions to the market. Marketing can start early on while the SAP Best Practices version is still in development, since partners know exactly what to expect from the final product. This rapid time-to-market cycle provides joint development partners with a valuable competitive advantage.
Working with SAP on the inside gives partners access to a wealth of information and hands-on experience on SAP Best Practices methodology, tools, and technology. ‘Learning by doing’ enables a knowledge transfer that is far more intense than the average training course. During their cooperation with the SAP Best Practices development team, partners have the opportunity to actively use SAP Best Practices tools and technology. In particular, partners gain valuable insight into the principles of the new ‘Building Block’ technology, the basis of all new SAP Best Practices releases. Building Blocks are flexible, reusable pieces of functionality that bring together all the pre-configuration, tools, and documentation mySAP All-in-One partners need to create their own solution. The active experience of working to this technology standard prepares partners for building their mySAP All-in-One solutions along the same principles.
Berthold Vossmann, product manager at itelligence AG and member of the SAP Best Practices for High Tech – V3.46C development team, comments on the benefits of knowledge transfer. “The opportunity to work hands-on with the latest SAP Best Practices technology is of enormous value when it comes to developing new solutions or adapting existing ones. The technology expertise our team built up during the joint development project with SAP will accompany us throughout the entire development life cycle of our mySAP All-in-One solution. For example, proficiency in the new Building Block technology will help us to build more flexible solutions for our customers – using a variety of High Tech Building Blocks and Building Blocks from other industries to meet our customers’ business needs more precisely.”
Knowledge transfer is not just restricted to technology. Partners can also use the conceptual and strategic elements of SAP’s development approach as a basis for future specification and development of their own mySAP All-in-One solutions. And the close relationships forged during cooperation with the SAP Best Practices development team and other partners pave the way for further networking, collaboration, and knowledge transfer. itelligence AG, Plaut, BSI GmbH, and another SAP partner, All for One, have already committed themselves to the collaborative development of the next release of SAP Best Practices for High Tech. And further releases of itelligence’s it.hightronics solution will be based on future versions of SAP Best Practices for High Tech.
Free marketing and references
The contribution mySAP All-in-One partners make to SAP Best Practices development does not go unrewarded. In addition to tailored SAP Best Practices content and a decreased time-to-market of their mySAP All-in-One solutions, partners also benefit from joint branding. The company logo of a SAP Best Practices development partner appears on the respective SAP Best Practices documentation CD and on the SAP Service Marketplace. The logo also incorporates a link to the partner’s website. In addition to this, SAP acts as a reference for partners and can provide written testimony of a partner’s role in the development of a SAP Best Practices version. This express vote of confidence in a partner’s expertise by SAP can help give partners that added competitive edge in a tough market.
Partner interested in joining the SAP Best Practices development community can use the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.