Accelerate the delivery, reduce cost and risk of SAP CRM 7.0 projects and make your CRM business users happy. Is that possible?
In the context of the current economic downturn, customers have been trying to reduce cost and risk while implementing SAP CRM. Alongside these constraints, a common afterthought for CRM projects is CRM Business users’ solution acceptance.
An interesting recent twist from SAP is the new effort to push through Rapid Development Solutions (RDS) across the SAP Product landscape and through SAP Partners. SAP CRM Rapid Development Edition is an example of this strategy. The attraction to businesses whether SMEs or Line of businesses within larger organisations will be the specific subscription-based licensing model as well as the certainty of paying for a fixed price implementation while still having the flexibility to evolve the functional scope and associated licensing model at a later stage.
For a fixed price, the scope of SAP CRM RDE various packages is pre-defined and depends on what type of scenario will be implemented. One key enabler behind this offering is SAP Best Practice for CRM 7.0 content alongside a specific ASAP methodology made available as an Add-on to the recently revamped ASAP 7.1 methodology (which I recently blogged about).
“SAP Best Practice” as a product to implement (and not as consultant buzz word!) has been around for a while and mostly marketed (or “officially sold”) by Partners to SMEs. In the context of the RDE offering, Best practice content is reduced to an even stricter content for the solution to be offered at such a price and speed. Customers therefore need to be careful about what exactly they want.
Implementing a package in such a way might appeal and be fit for purpose in some situations. Customers have to understand that this type of implementation is more something “Done to them rather than “Done with them”. I have always personally believed in collaborative approaches hence my suspicion with the RDS approach.
We have recently gone live with a customer with an accelerated implementation of SAP CRM 7.0 through the use of Best Practice content, tools and methodology. I thought it would be useful to share some practical insights of our project as it could help potential customers make a decision for a CRM implementation project – or as a matter of fact any SAP package implementation where the choice exists between traditional or accelerated delivery via either Best Practice, RDS or other template-based approach.
I have written a follow up Blog to this one with the lessons learned from our Best Practice implementation. I hope this will be useful to your projects.
The real reasons why projects drag on are the following:
- Extreme amounts of custom development required, due to custom fields or not wanting to followed delivered processes
- Moderate complication in pricing
- Fluid changing requirements or lack of involvement by stakeholders.
- Lack of technical knowledge by implementation team
- "Setting up camp" mentality by external resources
It's great to see some old and new tools that try to help address these issues. However the tools provided alone will not solve these issues. There must be an organizational willingness to adapt and change in order to be successful.
SAP CRM RDE seems to address a narrow target of organisations or LOBs which want a cheap solution to quickly bring in automation and cost efficiencies for a very narrow functional scope . I see this as a strategic defensive move by SAP against the likes of SalesForce.com. The difference I guess, is that one can then build and integrate deeply integrated SAP CRM processes on top of that.
As you say, even for the "simple" if not simplistic CRM processes covered by RDE packages, the change management aspect should not be underestimated.
I'm sure we can find sarcastic people arguing that shooting down the drain a cheap £30-£40k implementation project is relatively acceptable compared to a failed multi-million CRM project....