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Should SAP buy a facilitation firm and discount product to customers who use it

Good news, BTW – my current project may not involve the de-imp of SAP.

But that leads to what prompted me to make this post.

Let’s face it – there are very few prospective SAP customers who are “top-down” enough to corral all the pesky critters that compete with each other to try and influence the details of an implementation.

And as a result, SAP implementations suffer (regardless of who’s doing them) because more time is spent in internecine intra-customer warfare than anything else.

So – suppose SAP were to buy a facilitation firm and tell prospective customers that if they use it during the early stages of the blueprining process (or BPM process or whatever it’s called now), then they’ll get a discount of X on initial price or yearly maintenance.

Before my wife assumed her present position as Director of Business Analytics for a major US university hospital, she spent a year or so after her PhD/MBA working for a unit at the university that actually provided facilitation services. 

And I gotta say, judging from the stories she’d bring home – if you choose the right method and the right facilitators, facilitation really does work.

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  • Hi,
    You are right on the spot. It sounds funny, but it is reality. Tom Peters, the exMcKinsey chief stated in one of his books, that the biggest problem with SAP-Implementation is the political nature of the beast. Since most first time implementations also means a shift of power inside the organisation (towards central SAP power), the struggle begins.
    Successful project leads are facilitators. For all big projects, you need the politician as well as the technician.
    • Hi Holger –

      Never heard that statement by Peters – thanks for mentioning it. 

      If there were more formal facilitation up front, maybe more SAP-based “business transformations” would not wind up as just “technology upgrades”.

      Best regards