This blog will focus upon the ecosystem of Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s), their solutions and their value to our customers. In this initial session for 2008 I would like lay the foundation for future discussions of these ISV’s and the role they play in SAP’s solution for Wholesale Distribution.
Concisely stated, ISV’s add value to SAP’s ERP solution because of their focus upon sub-segments within Wholesale Distribution (Electrical, Fasteners, Food Service, etc.), their ability to bring industry specific functionality to market quickly, local expertise and in most cases a high return on investment (ROI) and a low cost of ownership (TCO).
Our ISV partners have the flexibility to focus upon an industry sub-segment that would not be of sufficient size or breadth for SAP to target and still make economic sense. Conversely, it would be difficult for SAP to be successful in these markets if we did not have ISV partners with their knowledge of industry sub-segments.
Time to Market
The ability to focus also allows our ISV partners to bring all of their development resources to bear on the needs of a specific industry sub-segment and allows them to work through a much shorter “enhancement list” than a company the size of SAP is faced with. This shorter priority list is also driven by strong industry experience and the net effect is a shorter time to market for these tightly focused applications.
Success in an industry sub-segment usually starts with success in a single geography (Europe, North America, etc.) followed by the ramp-up of a resource base to provide implementation and post-implementation support in that same geography. In time, success in a given geography leads to cross geography sales and the process repeats itself.
Industry focus leads to industry excellence, which in turn leads to solutions that can pay for themselves quickly, and offer our customers a favorable TCO when compared to a home grown or custom project.