Building an Award-Winning SAP Practice
In my previous post, I explained why having a thriving SAP practice is so important to the success of our clients. I talked about the work our team has done recently to address the “soft skills” often required to ensure that long-term transformational projects can succeed and meet ROI expectations.
TCS will share many examples of this work at SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference, May 5-7, in Orlando, and will co-present in sessions with Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API), British Gas, Cardinal Health, Hasbro, Performance Fibers and Tetra-Pak. I think you’ll find these sessions and the success stories behind them both inspirational and instructive. They demonstrate why, more than ever before, companies in a range of industries need a robust ERP system to control their global financial, supply chain, HR and other core systems—and how system integrator partners add value to their adoption and transformation projects.
Like these industry-leading companies, more and more organizations have been turning to TCS’ SAP practice to guide them on the best ways to leverage SAP technology. It’s no easy task and it doesn’t happen overnight. By partnering with a leading SAP partner, companies can tap into consulting and technology scale and skills that they don’t have in-house: global expertise, extensive experience and sophisticated technology tools to lead and manage large scale project design, implementation and change management. Our work enables our clients to remain focused on their core business.
2015 SAP Pinnacle Awards
TCS’ SAPPHIRE NOW speaking sessions represent the great work that our SAP practice continues to deliver to help our clients succeed. I’m proud to announce that TCS’ SAP practice was recently recognized by SAP as the 2015 SAP Pinnacle Award winner for Run SAP Partner of the Year and as a 2015 finalist for Services Transformation Partner of the Year. These awards recognize our commitment to solving our clients’ business challenges with the latest technology innovations. We are honored to have now been recognized as the Run SAP Partner of the Year for three consecutive years. And our high ranking in the Services Transformation category reflects our commitment to delivering consulting services as part of our global SAP practice. In addition to these important SAP accolades, the efforts of our team — which is now comprised of 13,500 consultants managing more than 450 projects around the world— were recently recognized by Gartner analysts as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Worldwide SAP Application Management Service Providers, and as the third-place provider in large-, midsize- and small-scope and -scale deals in Critical Capabilities.
Adding value through knowledge diversity
TCS’ SAP practice merges TCS consultants with deep expertise in the technical functions of SAP with experts in the business functions that depend on the software: manufacturing, supply chain, finance, purchasing, and others. And since SAP has added CRM and e-commerce software to its product suite in recent years, we’ve brought in experts in marketing, sales, service and e-commerce activities as well.
Bringing a diverse range of knowledge to bear on a client’s SAP project is essential – especially in “soft” skills. A Forrester Research study we commissioned last year found that the four biggest skill gaps in more than 100 companies’ IT-enabled business process transformation projects were all non-technical: culture change, organizational issues, new practices, and organizational design. Just being deep experts in the intricacies of SAP software is not sufficient. It’s table stakes today.
But it’s easy to say you bring both business and technical experts to the table. The real question, as The Godfather movie director Francis Ford Coppola once put it, is this: How do you make sure they are all making the same movie? That is, how do you increase the odds that they understand each other’s world so, for example, the process redesigner isn’t scoping out workflows that SAP doesn’t support? Conversely, how do you make sure the SAP architects aren’t recommending a configuration that will trigger revolts among the heads of manufacturing, finance or distribution?
We do that, in part, through a common methodology – a project approach to helping clients map out, step by step, the changes they need to make in their business processes and SAP software. But more importantly, we have people (both deep business experts and deep SAP experts) who understand each other’s world. Our business consultants have backgrounds in how SAP software affects clients’ finance, production, distribution and other operations.
Time and again, TCS’ ability to blend these skills on our project teams has resulted in SAP projects that are scoped correctly and designed to succeed: just the right amount of business process and technology change. The latest example of this is an SAP-based business transformation project we led for a large pharmaceutical distributor, which needed to combine both its wholesale and retail transaction data. Their first attempt at doing this was unsuccessful (before we hit the scene). But we made it work, in part, because all our people (and theirs) were “making the same movie.”
I encourage you to let us know what new opportunities or challenges you are planning to address to add value to the business. Many of our TCS SAP practice experts and consulting leaders will be attending SAPPHIRE NOW and we look forward to meeting with you there, or at your convenience, to share ideas on how our technology experts and consultants can help you meet your objectives.