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… and Richard Duffy a genius.

You sometimes here the pronouncement from our executives, that this is a new SAP, more agile, responsive and delighting our customers and I often cringe when I hear it, being from the school of don’t pronounce it, live it.

Well, check out what the folks around SAP Business One are doing.

Yesterday the SAP Mentors had a public webinar organized by Tim Guest with Richard Duffy around the latest features of SAP Business One.

Check out the replay of that interesting session

In it Richard told us that because of lean/agile development methodology the SAP Business One team are able to deliver 30% more functionality than originally planned. In my 25 years of being in the software business I have never heard of something like that. He also shared that they are in Ramp Up with the latest release right now, the one he introduced in the webinar. Some hand selected customers are running it already. There is a certain threshold of open bugs that you need to be below for an SAP product to go to general availability. Apparently they never even had enough open bugs to cross that threshold. They could go out of Ramp Up now, but because of promises to keep it open for a certain number of weeks, they are continuing with the Ramp Up. .

Richard has also created a Khan Accademy style SAP Business One Academy where he is adding about 2-3 videos on how to not only use B1, but also how to become an SAP Business One partner. He also covers in his videos how to be successful as a B1 partner. He has invited everyone to add their own videos too. If I wanted to make a name for myself in the B1 world, I would be all over that opportunity. This is the education of the future right here.

He came into the mentor webinar yesterday with a set of slides and said, you don’t need to write anything down, I shared the slides on SlideShare and I taped me presenting and posted it on YouTube already. Richard is on top of things.

He also shared that about 20-30% of the improvements in B1 came in through SAP’s Idea Place, and they are just getting started.

Years ago my friend and former colleague Peter Ebert had the idea to have a jump off point to something like Idea Place from every screen of an SAP system. Your moment of inspiration comes when you are working with the system and it would be cool to capture these ideas on the spot. The likelihood for the idea to be posted is so much higher if the Idea Place is only a click away. I wondered whether that has been implemented already in B1. Not yet, but people on the call liked the idea, so I posted it in the Idea Place, while still in the webinar.

To my delight it got 4 up votes and a couple of comments right away. The power of the Idea Place at work.

But then the real magic happened. Richard forwarded the idea to the lead Business One development manager and he agreed that it is a good improvement and will be in one of the next releases, which Richard reported/commented back. SAP is not promising when, as we don’t like to be sued for promises made, but judging by the current pace of development I am fairly confident it will be soon.

Richard didn’t stop here. Business One is easily expandable, which makes it so powerful in the market. With not a lot of effort you can add a field to a drop down menu on every screen of B1 that links to the B1 Area of Idea Place.

Richard created a little video showing how to do exactly that. More or less an elegant hack for the time until the functionality will be in the standard.

In summary:

  • SAP Business One’s latest release is coming out with more features than originally promised
  • It is so stable that it could go out of Ramp-Up already
  • 20-30% of their enhancements came through Idea-Place suggestions
  • A feature enhancement went from suggestion to being on the roadmap within 24 hours
  • A video that shows an elegant hack on how you can add that functionality to your current B1 system has been posted to the SAP Business One Academy for everyone to implement too.

I am floored. This is the new agile,responsive, customer delighting SAP in action.

With a hat tip to William Gipson: The new SAP is here, it is just not yet evenly distributed.

Thank you Richard Duffy for showing us the way.

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3 Comments

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  1. Former Member

    Brilliant story. Thank you, Mark Finnern, for sharing. Many thanks to Richard Duffy for living and exemplifying the new SAP. It’s wonderful to witness so many desirable attributes coming together in one example: agile development, responsiveness to customer requests, social sharing via slideshare and youtube in addition to SCN and the Mentor Monday call, the open Khan Academy-style sharing of how-to hacking tips… Great stuff.

    M.

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  2. Former Member

    Good write up Mark. I will ensure my office is set up next time avoiding the “Witness Protection” style Web Cam!

    It is interesting what Richard said about the SAP Idea Place – I know the guys at SAP take it seriously with many ideas being acted upon. My question to the team at SAP / SCN is how can this be promoted more to the average B1 user? In my presentation to the B1 User Group last month, most people had not heard about the SAP Idea Place.

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  3. Former Member

    Hello! Congratulations Richard Duff, Very well !! I´m from Brazil, consultant SAP B1, and here, always watch your videos. SAP Idea Place, is an excellent opportunity for all.

    ” An old story tells of three stonecutters who were asked what they were doing. The first replied, ‘I am making a living.’ The second kept on hammering while he said, ‘I am doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire country.’ The third one looked up with a visionary gleam in his eyes and said, ‘I am building a cathedral.”

    If others working in your business are not ‘building the cathedral’ then perhaps whatever they are doing should be stopped, automated, or outsourced.If others working in your business are not ‘building the cathedral’ then perhaps whatever they are doing should be stopped, automated, or outsourced.

    Best Regards!

    Fernando Vieira

    Skype: fernandovieira.sap

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