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In my previous SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM) Changing the Game (Again) with Rapid Deployment Solutions for Rapid Results posting on the topic of SAP SCM rapid-deployment solutions, I made the case that consumers of software are demanding a new consumption experience. In response, SAP has offered a new, packaged offering of modules of standard SAP software. These modules combine software, services, pre-configuration, and implementation accelerators. The end result is quicker implementations with rapid results attributable to pre-packaged, fixed-price/fixed-scope solutions. This blog will discuss the value drivers that meet the new demands of customers, predictability, integration, and choice to improve time to value, and lower the risk of failing to meet expectations.

 

Companies operating supply chains today are squeezed between a demand side that is increasingly volatile and a supply side that is increasingly complex and difficult to change quickly. On the demand side, customer expectations are growing steadily, and upside revenue opportunity is there for companies that can respond to it. Yet, today’s supply chains are often spread across global networks in which lack of visibility and long decision-making time make it difficult to plan and execute with speed and precision. In this reality, it’s no surprise that the “need for responsiveness” often appears as a top pain point in numerous surveys of supply chain executives. This means not responsiveness in the systems they deploy, but also responsiveness in the time to value for implementing and deploying these systems.

 

 

Predictability

When you are servicing demanding customers through a complex global supply network you must rely on systems on which you can depend, and possesses that can respond rapidly to business challenges.   Your ability to collaborate with partners, produce the optimal plan, and execute the perfect order increases the value you bring to your customers and is critical for success! Poor visibility, transparency, and accuracy can result in missed forecasts, lost sales, rising costs and disgruntled stakeholders.  Increased predictability drives the positive results you are seeking.

 

Enterprise software costs, associated services, and implementations times for business management software have been difficult to predict (in terms of costs, ROI, and time to value). The reasons are many, but for the most part, one of the key challenges surrounds the customizations that are deployed.   There are some projects which represent key differentiators or must inherently comprehend unique requirements.  In this case, exhaustive scoping, customized configuration, and “one-off” services are called for to appropriately accomplish the job.

 

And while “every nail needs a hammer”, some projects fall outside the key differentiator/unique requirements area and can benefit from thousands of prior implementations (and best practices)—meaning that a fixed price/fixed scope solution is appropriate. At SAP we have been looking back at the literally thousands of projects and implementations, updating and adding to our Best Practices libraries, and sitting down with the Development organization to create “packaged solution bundles” that have been tried and tested with dozens of companies from multiple industries.  We’ve seen what works, and what doesn’t, and applied those lesson learned to build solutions that are complete with pre-configured software, associated service offering, and powerful implementation accelerators. 

 

We have packaged these offerings in a modular approach, meaning, they are (relatively) small in terms of scope and easier to implement and measure.  These solutions are usually implemented in less than 12 weeks, and from the beginning of the project you have certainty of price, implementation time, and expected outcomes. Thus you achieve the PREDICTABILITY for you to NAIL IT!

 

 

Integration

Now don’t think that predictability comes at the expense of your flexibility.  Each of the more than 50 RDS solutions in market today and those being rolled out on a quarterly basis are fully integrated with your SAP IT landscape.  An SAP Rapid Deployment solution (RDS) might be the perfect follow-on to add analytics, extend your logistics or planning capabilities or start to automate collaborative processes with partners. This is true because it is in fact the same software only packaged in a smaller footprint with associated services and implementation tools, to fully INTEGRATE with your previous and future SAP solutions landscape. Thus, you are able to prioritize the elements of your roadmap, implement what you need, and buy what you will implement—even one quarter at a time.

 

If you were implementing solutions that fail to integrate with your previous and future SAP footprint, then your investment would limit your flexibility, increase your cost of ownership, and confine you to a strategy that might of necessity need modification down the road. SAP RDS are comprised of the same software as and support the entire SAP portfolio. These solutions are delivered with SAP predefined services, or implemented through service offerings of the SAP Partner Ecosystem.  The solutions integrate with other SAP software and frequently consolidate or integrate with other non-SAP software.

 

Choice

When you walk into an ice cream store, a compelling enticement is to take advantage of ALL the flavors offered.  And while you may not be able to turn in your cone for a replacement after its half eaten, the good ones let you sample to determine what you want.

 

RDS’ go one step further. If you decide to deploy your SCM solution and want to 1st focus on logistics, those options are there for you. If you need to get closer to your customers and improve demand accuracy and visibility, it’s available to you. If you wish to better synchronize supply to demand and planning is a key focus, you can!

 

The various “flavors” of SAP’s comprehensive software and services portfolio are and continue to be available for you to add to your roadmap. Whether you choose to implement SAP Business Suite and/or augment with an RDS or two, you have the flexibility. You have choice of implementation partner as well. The SAP predefined services offering is available through SAP worldwide network of implementation specialists, and (as mentioned) you can choose an implementation partner from the SAP Ecosystem.

 

Is a supply chain rapid deployment solution the right tool for you?

When you are interested in fast time to value and a fixed price/fixed scope solution are appropriate, you have RDS in your toolbench. Like the hammer SAP Rapid Deployment solutions allow you to NAIL IT with predictability, integration, and choice.

 

For More Information

For more information about SAP’s Rapid Deployment Solutions please take advantage of the following links:

1.   New Video – SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions: Software that Gets You Working Quickly  

2.    Learn more about SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions for Supply Chain. Click Here

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