This is part two of an ongoing series to share ‘digitaliKa‘, a concept to simplify how to discover, solution and deploy SAP Solutions.
- Part I: Introducing digitaliKa – Backgrounder
- Part II: The idea and operating principles
- Part III: How to get there
- in preparation – Part IV: Demo – showcasing the operating principles
Given the magnitude of the vision of this new concept, we, here at SAP, have opted for a gradual path to execution. We envisaged three levels of digitaliKa.
Level 1: Daisy chaining and connecting the backend
To begin with, existing elements which fit the bill for digitaliKa are daisy chained and overlaps eliminated. In our case these are three major tools: the sales navigator (for discovery), the solution configurator (for solutioning) and the deployment cockpit (for delivery).
In addition of daisy chaining, we need to connect them to various backends like our CRM, Financial Systems, Resource Management and the likes.
Next, Intellectual Property (IP) is injected at various points. Key assets are our pre-assembly framework, RDS, a common Taxonomy, sales plays, outcome based services. The discovery phase has some, but yet limited, smartness in the sense algorithm-based customer experience.
Once done, the basic infrastructure for level 1 digitaliKa is available. The core IP is available. The process runs behind the firewall. We are good to go.
Level 2: customer operated discovery & more IP
Taking it to the next level, the discovery-phase is now operated directly by the customer. Discovery needs to be sufficiently smart to deliver inputs in form of machine-language, that the solutioning engine in the following phase understands.
This asks for a nonnegotiable injection of additional IP and content into this phase. Identity, Affinity, Catalogue, Algorithms, are the most crucial ones to make available.
Further, this process has to run outside the firewall as it shall be customer operated. The rest of the infrastructure and processes remain behind the firewall.
A way to implement this is to plan for a hand-shake between Discovery and the rest of the level 1 daisy chain. Admittedly this is a workaround, but an important one if we want to make it customer-operated whilst maintaining key security aspects.
At this stage, sales reps intervene only by exception.
Level 3: digital business
Finally, the process is run end-to-end as a digital business. As a reminder, digitaliKa is predominantly a make-to-order scheme, albeit based on pre-assembly of pre-defined components.
There are, of course, technical challenges to this. The level 2 digitaliKa has to be lifted in all its components to enable fully digitized commerce in a robust and secure way.
And there are even bigger change management challenges to it. The whole process needs to be run and managed as a digital-business. The way we expose our services & solutions changes, there are no sales reps in the classic definition anymore, and delivery occurs more in a factory-style paradigm than anything else.
A lot of fundamental changes compared to the way medium-complex implementations are discovered, solutions, and implemented today.
You might ask: How long does will this take? Starting from where we stand at SAP Services, we think Level 1 can be achieved within a quarter. To get to Level 2, we believe you have to add another 3-4 quarters. Level 3 is difficult to judge, but certainly may take another 2-4 quarters. So it might – maybe optimistically – take us 6-8 quarters to get to Level 3.
But the benefits are beginning to materialise already with Level 1. So, the effects and promise ofdigitaliKA are pretty immediate.