SAP can weather the recession quite easily by going to market with enterprise salvation packages (ESP). SAP ESP would not only bundle our standard software apps for improving company transparency and efficiency, such as performance optimization applications (POA) including governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and enterprise performance management (EPM), but also include sufficient consultancy and mentoring input, to be negotiated on an individual basis, to offer a serious prospect of rescuing the fortunes of companies that sign up.
My vision here is that our ESP team would be granted enormous and exceptional powers to transform the organization of customer companies. In return, SAP would offer a conditional guarantee (subject to global eventualities and so on – here the lawyers would have a field day) to nurse the company through the recession and onward to the sunlit uplands where tranquil growth again becomes a reasonable expectation.
The big attraction for SAP in this hazy scenario is that customers pay solid fees up front for the ESP service. The attraction for the customers is that a competent and experienced team holds their hand during these frightening times. In fact, we would need to do much more than hold hands. The enormous and exceptional powers would extend to insisting on transformational changes in company structure and operations, as far as large investment decisions and massive workforce changes. In many cases, SAP would be the executive cover for painful hatchet jobs. For this service, too, we would bill accordingly.
Okay, this is just a throwaway idea (which in turn is perhaps a polite way to say we should bin it) – but I offer it as a potentially good one, if we in the SDN community can massage it sufficiently. We need to decide how to package the offer, what to bundle in it, what metrics to use to calibrate the challenges and our success (if any), and a realistic billing policy. As a first step, I suggest a flat fee up front, but some conditional payoff later, such as a percentage bonus once the sunlit uplands are reached, would make sense too.