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Café Innovation – Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)

According to one definition (Wikipedia), “Veni, vidi, vici” is a famous Latin sentence reportedly written by Julius Caesar in 47 BC. It translates as “I came, I saw, I conquered“. Obviously, this was in the context of the exploits of an increasingly dominant Roman Empire. But, in certain contexts it can also be a description for a great way to solve many of the issues that plague us today.

A corporation could be debating a serious issue for weeks, and months, unmindful of the costs of waiting on making a decision, or they could buckle down and address the issue, recognize the pros and cons, and end the suffering with decisive action. The “veni, vidi, vici” approach could also apply to the world of SAP consulting/support services.

The business models of most consulting firms are based on how well utilized their consultants are. This means they must find nice long stints for them at customer sites. If they are invited in for a certain purpose, they often seek out other opportunities so they can continue to engage fruitfully with the client for longer durations. Now this could be a good thing, because quite likely other areas of improvement might be identified and worked upon. However, it frequently leaves the customer with a perception of having incurred a higher total cost. In their minds, some consulting firms are interested in a “land and expand” approach more than anything else. Many of them wish that their consulting partners would just arrive, see, and conquer (the problem at hand)!

Having stepped out of the traditional consulting world, I am finding several customers expressing to me how they wish they could find someone who could provide consulting-like help but with a very laser-like focus. What they describe as a desired ideal state, is in their minds still wishful thinking of sorts – they have expressed that, for the most part, they would like to rely on their own internal strengths, only seeking focused and short-term external help when absolutely needed. They would be delighted if whenever they had a problem someone appeared at their side (physically or virtually), identified and diagnosed the problem, and then conquered it quickly. That would essentially be saying, “Veni, vidi, vici” to the problem!

My thoughts here are certainly not an indictment of the traditional consulting model, but should hopefully serve as a wakeup call of sorts about what resonates with SAP customers in a new economic environment.

On a lighter note, I welcome any input offline that might help me in a battle looming over the horizon – one with a certain bird in a little over two days’ time! I hope I can do my own version of “veni, vidi, vici.”

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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