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Author's profile photo Denise Goncalves

Expertise Gained Through Customer Experience Helps Tacit Knowledge to Develop Packaged Solution Success


The Cambridge Dictionary defines “tacit knowledge” as knowledge you do not get from being taught, but rather from personal experience.

It’s a concept that Tacit Knowledge, an SAP partner with offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Moldova and Mexico, takes to heart. Tacit executives identified a potential gap in cloud-based solutions for the SAP Commerce platform—as well as looking at opportunities to increase customer demand for projects with fixed costs, scope and implementation times— so they decided to build their own solution to better help SME clients’ ecommerce challenges.

Tacit’s ncommerce solution was born. The offering has helped the partner become more competitive and more nimble in the midmarket, said James Bullock, Global General Manager and Senior Vice President at Tacit.

“SAP Commerce offers more breadth, depth and flexibility than any other Ecommerce solution on the market. Let’s make it more accessible for all brands,” Bullock said.

Initial Success Builds Expectations, Opportunities

Ncommerce provides customers with the features, flexibility and scalability of SAP Commerce Cloud and allows them to go live in half the time and cost of a typical enterprise e-commerce implementation, according to Tacit.

The first UK customer to launch on ncommerce was all-year round footwear brand FitFlop.

FitFlop’s results following implementation have exceeded expectations, according to Denise Fender, Global GM – Digital at FitFlop.

“We didn’t just want technology that would sell a product. We wanted technology that presents product in a way that was different for every market. We also needed to work in a way that was agile. We needed to release new features on our site every two to four weeks and we’re able to do that with the SAP Commerce solution and working with Tacit Knowledge. We’re now able to think in days and weeks rather than months and years,” Fender said.

FitFlop added top-line revenue and profit to the business on the first day and the company enjoyed a stellar Black Friday (typically the biggest shopping day of the year), Fender said. With ncommerce implemented, FitFlop experienced 4x to 5x the web traffic compared to the prior year.

“We’ve already seen payback. We’re two years ahead of the financial model and we have lifted the business four times what we thought it would be,” Fender said.

Tacit is preparing to launch another customer on ncommerce and has several more are in the pipeline. “We’ve proven that both the commercial model and ‘headless commerce’ architecture works,” Bullock said. “Ncommerce is aligned with SAP Commerce and provides brands and retailers with more choice.”

Building Solutions, Transforming Business

Tacit’s ncommerce is a turnkey ecommerce solution applicable to customers in almost any industry, Bullock said. Ncommerce is powered by world-class ecommerce software from SAP and deployed in the cloud, leveraging its highly scalable and reliable infrastructure. Other pre-integrations include CyberSource, Amplience, Google Analytics and Fastly—providing powerful customer acquisition & retention, relationship, transactional and content distribution capabilities. “Our main objective is to make technology an enabler for every brand rather than a constraint,” he said.

The solution has proven attractive because of its predictable cost, scope and implementation, Bullock said. “We provide a solution that is scalable and maintainable for our customers over the long-term. In parallel, SAP is continuing to build more features and functionality into the SAP Commerce platform, which is what the market is asking. The market is asking for predictability, how much is it going to cost and how long it will take to deliver,” he said

Developing and marketing a packaged solution required Tacit to change its thinking to some degree, Bullock said. “Initially we considered marketing our packaged solution as a product. By taking counsel with both existing and potential customers we realized that ncommerce is best described as a service than a stand-alone solution. Tacit’s quality of service is the key in keeping customers happy and enabling them to stay focused on growing their businesses,” he said.

Unlike some partners with SAP qualified partner-packaged solutions, Tacit prefers not to lead conversations with price, but rather with the solutions value, Bullock said. “It sounds a bit corny. We don’t want a number to take away from what we’re trying to do. Every business is unique and therefore every customer wants their own flavor, something different. We can offer them anything from a “vanilla solution” to something more customized to their specific requirements.”

Setting a Course for Future Success

Thus far, ncommerce has focused mainly on B2C customers, but there’s also big opportunity in the B2B market as well, Bullock said.

“Having a packaged solution really demystifies SAP. People think SAP, they think ERP systems, a big beast,” he said. “We want our clients to see a return on investment out of the initial implementation and we also want to help support them in aspiring to do more with their platform. We’ve crafted ncommerce with sustainability and the long term in mind.”

Tacit’s ability to develop its own “partner economy” through its own solutions and services is important to SAP, said Ian Wahlers, vice president of General Business & Channels for SAP UK and Ireland. “We couldn’t do it without them. They take SAP core offerings and really focus on customer-centric solutions. They add their expertise, their own IP, and they effectively make the solutions what they are for their customers at the end of the day,” he said.

Added Bullock, “Ideally, we get into a position where we can seamlessly expand our roadmap and match technical solutions with business requirements. Ncommerce starts the conversation. After that, there are no limitations. It’s not about fitting requirements to ncommerce, it’s about ncommerce being a springboard for brands to do more. It’s natural.”

The packaged solution has proven to be unique in the market and a conversation starter—both to new SAP customers and existing customers on older versions of SAP Commerce.

“To go out and say, ‘We do professional services and we’re really good at it,’ it’s not very catchy, is it? When we say we have ncommerce, it’s something different and a great catalyst to start a conversation. It is a differentiator that enables brands to get online fast, to give their customers a better user experience, and the ability to get value from their investment within months.” Bullock said.

For a complete list of SAP qualified partner-packaged solutions please visit SAP Partner Package Finder.

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