Innovation in the Consulting Space
SAP is known for its product innovation. The fact that is less known is that innovation is a way of thinking in SAP, its how we do stuff in SAP in general. Its part of our daily thought process, our makeup. How we think, not just an end product. We try to innovate in all lines of business.
I work for SAP Consulting and in this blog I would like to share with you some of the innovative work that we are doing. The best way would probably be to do it with an example.
Customers often come to us wanting a consultant for a short piece of work. Typically, they are looking for an expert to close a knowledge gap by either performing the task himself (e.g. – configure something) or by enabling the customer to perform the task (e.g. – run a workshop).
As a service to our customers, we decided to design a different process for these types of requests. To make it easier on the customer to identify the consultant he needs, book the consultant’s time and manage the complete engagement thru a dedicated online solution.
In the design phase of the new solution we interviewed multiple customers and heard over and over the same 2 requirements:
- Time is of an essence – We need quick resolution. There is no time for prolonged planning; there is a need for a quick solution for a burning issue.
- No compromise on quality – There is no time to waste on acquiring knowledge. We need someone that has the knowledge and experience and can help us is a very short timeframe.
As a next step we setup a design workshop with all involved SAP people. We invited sales people, operations people, sourcing people as well as couple of consultants and other smart people that could help us redesign the process to better fit the requirements we heard from the customers.
Following this workshop we created a mock-up solution and returned to our customers to learn if our current plans fit their needs. To our great satisfaction, the customers embraced the new proposal with some slight optimization proposals to make the solution even better.
The only remaining challenge was to develop the solution and adapt our internal processes to support the new solution.
6 months after we first identified the customers need, we launched the Consulting Self-Service to the market! We are starting small by addressing only selected customers from selected countries but plan to release it to all customers during 2012.
Check out this short clip explaining the value and be sure to also see our page to learn more about our SAP Consulting Self-Service offering.
In the next posts I will share more about innovation processes at SAP Consulting.