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Introduction

Prior to joining SAP America, I was a consultant working for one of SAP’s partners.  So, the topic of promoting collaboration between SAP services and its consulting partners is of deep interest to me.

This blog is not about collaboration achieved via corporate events or joint go-to-market activities undertaken by SAP services and consulting partners.  The focus instead is on how project team members on the ground can work well together.

What drives their behavior?

Both SAP services and its consulting partners are driven by their desire to (a) deliver value to the customer in a cost-efficient way, (b) position and leverage their strengths in areas such as product knowledge, delivery methodology, service delivery model, resource-depth, etc. and (c) satisfy customer’s business needs.

With these common set of objectives driving their behavior, it is obvious that a healthy and collaborative relationship on the ground can be truly beneficial to all.

How can teams work best together?

There are many ways the leadership (i.e., project/account managers) as well as other team members on ground can help to improve collaboration.  

  • Keep customer satisfaction uppermost in the set of priorities
  • Establish communication channels and practices to ensure free exchange of information among all members of SAP service and consulting partner teams
  • Cooperate with one another to effectively execute project activities and solve project issues.  After all a successfully executed project will improve the likelihood of the customer returning to the “winning team” next time around
  • Share knowledge freely with each other- from latest innovations and development in SAP solution, customer experiences, and implementation approaches to system configurations
  • Build good professional relationships with other team members to gain trust, learn new skills, and build professional network.  As the saying goes SAP consulting is a small world.  There may be thousands of SAP trained professionals worldwide, but there is a good chance to bump into a person on your next project, whom you have worked with in the past
  • Always present a joint face to the customer, and come across as true partners.   Customers always appreciate working with a team of service partners in synch

New Opportunities for collaboration

As I am writing this blog,  Sapphire Now and TechEd events in Madrid are just round the corner.  Events like these offer tremendous opportunities for members of SAP service and its consulting partners to interact, and learn about new product innovations, service approaches, etc.  Consultants and other service professionals unable to attend can listen to the recordings and re-broadcasts of key sessions following these events.

SAP consulting arena is a very dynamic world- constantly evolving.  It is important for all consultants to adopt to new technological innovations- Enterprise Mobility, SAP HANA, Cloud Computing to name a few. 

Some exciting new methodologies and delivery approaches have evolved for implementing SAP projects in cost effective and timely manner.  One such example is SAP’s Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS) offering. 

Both SAP service and major consulting partners have their versions of service delivery approaches to keep pace with the innovations.  These developments offer SAP services and consulting partners to take their collaboration to a different level.  

I am a Sr. Principal with SAP’s Business Transformation Services group.  Prior to SAP, I worked at a large consulting firm as Partner and management consultant. Please respond with your comments and suggestions to this blog on SCN.  You may email me privately @ anil.joshi@sap.com

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