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In today’s world the customer wants a consulting company to deliver SAP projects at a reduced cost. Cost of ownership is a big factor for customers.

I want to start a discussion on how to effectively use functional consultants work remotely in US and offshore to deliver a project for a customer. I am sure that many of us have done this a lot for technical development but I am not sure how many of us have tried this with SAP functional side.

Have you ever used SAP functional consultants in your SAP project who worked remotely, located at a offsite location in US? If so, I would like to hear about your experience.

I am talking about project models where a lead/anchor functional consultant works on site and offloads logical units of functional work to a consultant who works from remote location. The remote consultant comes on site for a week to participate in business process discussion with the client business owners and then works remotely to configure and develop the business process in SAP. While working remotely the remote consultant configures the business in SAP and also develops functional specs for any development that need to be done to support that business process. The remote consultant works with a offshore developer to develop and test the object. After the business process has been configured in SAP and all related development objects have been developed and tested, the remote consultant goes on site to deliver the piece of functionality to the client and help them compete the user acceptance testing and sign off.

Have you used this or a similar model in your project? How have you planned and managed such a project? What was your experience and lessons learned?

Please share your thoughts and recommendations.

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  1. Shubham Srivastava

    Hello

    First and foremost  , let me thank you for coming up with this important document for discussion and comments. Offshore-Onsite implementation and support model has become a very common practice followed across mid size and even big organizations.

    The good part is that companies can optimize on their running variable costs related to resources ,logistics and overheads expenses as sufficient amount of core work is outsourced to offshore teams.

    However , my personal experience has been a mixed one which I will try to summarize in below bullet points.

    • The Project Manager onsite should be really good in managerial as well as Techno-Functional skills as he/she becomes the first point of contact with client and system integrators. – Such resource is quite difficult to find now days.
    • The offshore functional & technical teams usually have the tendency to run away from issues raised by clients which causes delays and discrepancies.
    • Requirement gathering is by far the most important phase which ultimately decides what percentage of work falls as a part of standard SAP solution and what are those critical custom developments. I have observed that offshore teams don’t interact much with client and still handle those complex reports resulting in heavy unwanted documentation ,calls and follow ups. Onsite team should daily have calls with their offshore support groups and resolve all such issues.
    • Minor issues like authorizations, missing table entries ,configurations ,roles assignment can be easily performed thru remote functional consulting. Tools like WebEx ,Lync screen sharing ,remote desktop ,Skype ,chat sessions help a lot.
    • Remote consulting must always be supported by detailed minutes of the meeting documentation which is usually not followed in projects.
    • Weekly review meeting with top management of both the teams is a must.

    This is purely my way of looking at  Remote consulting …and to conclude I agree that its a very useful model if implemented in a proper manner.

    Cheers!!!

    Shubham

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