Atos Origin Italy, the Italian unit of one of Europe’s leading systems integrators, became an SAP Value Added Reseller (VAR) in 2002. Pietro Maradei, director business unit PMI, Atos Origin S.p.A.Atos, notes that, by carrying out over 1,000 SAP implementations, the company has an extensive body of knowledge in a variety of industry segments. Over the years, the company has expanded its SAP coverage to developing solutions for customer relationship management, business intelligence, product lifecycle management and supply chain management.
As a major systems integrator, the company must provide its customers with high-quality and reliable solutions. Entering into partnership with SAP helps guarantee this, says Maradei, because SAP differentiates itself from other enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors through its substantial experience, customer volume and major investments in research and development.
“We believe that SAP offers the most complete and effective ERP solution available,” he adds, lending an image as market leader that boosts Atos Origin’s fortunes. SAP also provides proactive partner communication and comprehensive support in all aspects of the relationship – marketing, sales, training, information and technical support. Despite strong relationships with other software vendors, the only solutions that Atos Origin Italy develops for SMBs are SAP-based, Maradei notes, and SAP is viewed by employees as the company’s most significant partnership.
To achieve its objective of becoming one of the top SAP resellers in Italy, Atos Origin Italy started a pilot project in the SMB market last year that helped garner the firm the 2002 SAP Newcomer of the Year award. The company is also working to build a partner network of local players that will combine Atos Origin’s broad based skills and solutions with the regional partners’ local expertise and customer knowledge.
To facilitate its strategy for improving regional coverage, the company suggests that SAP modify its channel policy to designate two levels of partnership. A partner category suitable to smaller, regional players would enable Atos Origin Italy to build its business in the SMB segment by offering lower-level partners the twin advantages of being an official SAP partner and of working with Atos Origin.
Maradei explains that the mySAP All-in-One solutions which Atos Origin has developed combine the company’s knowledge of the processes in its industry sectors with a basic solution that includes industry-specific functionality. The company has developed several such industry-specific mySAP All-in-One solutions. Client ROI has been a key element in all of them, says Maradei.
For an SMB client in the chemical sector, Atos Origin Italy implemented both its mySAP All-in-One solution for the chemical sector – including all basic ERP modules – and its preconfigured business intelligence solution. The project was implemented in six months for under Euro 200,000, clearly demonstrating the advantages of pre-configured solutions in specific industries, says Maradei. Atos Origin plans to build further market-specific solutions for particular industry sectors.
Beyond the mySAP All-in-One solutions’ preconfiguration, Atos Origin deals with the fact that each customer’s situation is unique. Before beginning a client project, the company performs a gap analysis to determine the gap between standard functionality and the customer’s needs. If the gap is small enough, then a preconfigured mySAP All-in-One solution is considered suitable. For SMBs trying to achieve real ROI, Atos Origin Italy advises the client not to modify the implemented solution during the first three years, but rather to become thoroughly familiar with the functionality first.
Interestingly, Maradei indicates that the quick and cost-effective implementations of mySAP All-in-One solutions are also gaining favor with larger customers who want to keep tight control of spending and resources. They like the fact that they can start with a mySAP All-in-One solution, then customize and adapt at a pace to suit their budgets and needs. This provides them with a clear migration path as resources become available.