A 2013 report by Enterprise Applications Consulting (EAC) states that “the synergy between enterprise software innovation and business innovation has never been stronger.” The report, which is entitled “Assessing the Value of SAP’s Rapid-Deployment Solutions,” also says CEOs see technology change as the most critical factor that could impact their organization over the next three to five years.
This puts a lot of pressure on enterprise software innovation, especially since historically there has been a price to pay for attempting to use technology to drive business innovation. The EAC report notes that there is an average cost overrun of 66% with software projects, which indicates that IT departments must strive to find a more cost-effective approach to innovation.
For the most part, this isn’t easy, as it sometimes seems that IT is facing more challenges than solutions. An almost universal issue is the integration of legacy systems – the ones running many core business processes – with the technologies that are driving innovation, such as the cloud, mobile, and analytics. Then, of course, IT must meet the demands of increasing globalization and micro-level customization as the pace of innovation increases with every moment. Not to mention that companies expect a return on technology investments almost immediately these days.
The answer: Bundle innovation and implementation together
To make it simpler and more cost effective for our customers to drive innovation, SAP took a giant step forward in the industry and introduced the rapid-deployment solution program in 2010. The theory behind this was pretty straightforward – meld innovation, predefined implementation methods, and best practices together and offer them at a fixed price – and it appears that it’s working.
To prove this point, EAC talked to several SAP customers, and discovered seven common benefits that these solutions are driving. They include:
- The deployment of best practices and limited costly customizations
- Cost reduction, time to value, long-term maintenance, and rapid decision making
- Sandbox and proof-of-concept testing and user acceptance
- Implementation of leading-edge SAP technologies, such as the SAP HANA platform and mobile solutions
- “Tier-two” innovations (per EAC, the first tier is the 65% or more of the functionality that comes from the rapid-deployment solution, and the second tier is the remaining functionality that comes from customization)
- Hub and spoke, or two-tier business operations, using a standard SAP instance
- An overall culture of rapid deployment
This feedback from customers shows that the SAP rapid-deployment solutions are empowering the enterprise software inno
vation that companies are seeking in order to drive business innovation. The report provides actual examples where these solutions have driven not only innovation, but also cost savings and more.
- One customer found that 90% of its requirement functionality was built right in the SAP SCM Rapid-Development Solution for Demand Planning. Much to the customer’s surprise, the implementation project took only four months instead of an anticipated six. The company experienced lower risk due to the solution’s fixed price and the use of fewer resources than it planned. There was also an increase of 20-30% in planning accuracy along with improved production efficiency and order management.
- Another customer used the SAP HANA Operational Reporting rapid-deployment solution to better understand issues such as pricing and inventory levels through a major overall of its business analytics functions. The initial implementation took only half the time the company expected, and helped them meet a critical deadline. The company is now performing new analyses that weren’t possible before.
- A third customer had a very tight regulatory deadline to meet when it implemented SAP rapid-deployment solutions for customer relationship management and enterprise mobility. The company was able to meet the deadline and garner other benefits too, such as better management of internal resources, a high user acceptance, and lower maintenance costs.
- A final customer scenario looks at benefits a company achieved during the upgrade of 40 worldwide offices and the standardization of business process with an SAP Business All-in-One rapid deployment solution. The customer was able to bring up a new environment in a matter of weeks for what it considered to be “seed” money. It was also able to streamline its internal development processes and test drive new concepts and business processes more cost effectively than before.
The report states that until SAP started this program, “no vendor had developed a systematic approach to delivering fixed time and cost projects as part of a standard offering.” The report also notes that no other vendor has a program even remotely comparable to ours today.
These solutions are more one way that SAP is helping our customers achieve the innovation they need to remain ahead of the competitive and drive more profit. To learn more, visit SAP.com/RDS and download the full white paper (registration required).
 Source: McKinsey-Oxford study on reference-class forecasting for IT projects