When SAP introduced its SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solutions in late 2017, we had two objectives. First, to help partners differentiate themselves in the market and become more valuable to customers. Second, to meet a need in the market for small-business customers interested in the fixed scope, lower cost, and faster implementation times that standardized solutions bring, all of which increases a partner’s value to customers. By almost any measure, the initiative has been a success.
So far, more than 350 SAP partners have qualified their partner packaged solutions with SAP, and many more are in the pipeline.
Packaged solutions bundling applications, services, and partners’ own intellectual property and industry expertise have helped led to faster implementations, higher win rates, quicker sales cycles, increased profitability, and improved relationships with clients.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what partners had to say about why they see significant opportunities around SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions and why their customers love their offerings too:
1. World-class solutions at an affordable price
Cloud-based packaged solutions have helped small businesses level the playing field with large enterprises because they give those SMBs similar functionality without busting a budget. That opens up new doors and opportunities for many SMBs that traditionally viewed SAP as too expensive and too big, according to Sabya Mitra, CEO of SAP partner Renew HR. “We bundle the cost of the application, implementation, and scope into a package that could go live in 8 to 10 weeks,” Mitra said. “We put everything in front of them and told them they wouldn’t have to pay for anything that was not right in front of them during the sales cycle.”
Increasingly, customers notice and understand the benefits of packaged solutions, said Sam Wood, chief revenue officer at ERP Logic. “It’s total cost of ownership, it’s affordability, it’s the quicker implementation time, it’s the services we add,” Wood said. “It’s allowing customers to focus on their business, not IT. There are a lot of benefits, a lot of value that customers see in packaged solutions.”
2. Land and Expand
Packaged solutions offer partners a unique opportunity with clients—the more you can do for them, the more valuable they will see you. It’s a notion embraced by SAP partner Crave InfoTech. The SAP partner has more than 20 applications available in the available in the SAP App Center, and has two solutions available in the SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions finder, with more on the way. To CEO Shrikant Nistane, more options means better business. “We can talk to a customer about a complete package so they’re not talking to three or four competitive parties. It definitely appeals to customers to deal with only one place,” he said.
Meanwhile, India-based SAVIC is using a packaged solutions strategy to launch new solutions in new regions, said Mohammad Shakir, vice president of SAVIC. “We can fulfill all requirements of business, so that adds to the value of a packaged solution in other markets outside India,” Shakir said. “We’re opening a delivery center with SAP that can demonstrate a package live with a customer in different verticals. We’re excited at the opportunities in front of us with SAP and packaged solutions.”
3. Establish Your Own Brand/Carve Your Own Niche
Standing out in a crowd isn’t easy. It takes skill, effort, maybe even a little luck to differentiate yourself to customers. Packaged solutions allow customers to create a unique offering that gets noticed, said James Bullock, global general manager and senior vice president at Tacit Knowledge. “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 our ncommerce [packaged solution], it’s something different and a great catalyst to start a conversation,” Bullock said.
Similarly, Brazil-based SOU branded its own packaged initiative, talentools, around learning management systems, e-learning, and talent management, said Luiz Comar, executive director at SOU. “We don’t have to get into a price war with competitors,” Comar said. “We put talentools on the table and that changed the conversation. The prospect is comparing all the features and the value of our solution.”
4. Believe in Yourself
SAP partners develop their own innovative, unique ideas all the time for packaged solutions—and their persistence pays off. For example, Process Technologies built a solution for a prospect that needed specific reporting capabilities and predictive analytics for managing a large vehicle fleet. The company didn’t buy the solution, but Damian Benghiat, director of sales and marketing, said the company believed so much in their efforts that they turned it into their first packaged solution. After addressing the initial prospects concerns with new functionality, ProTech has since closed one packaged solutions sale and has several more in the pipeline. “We believe that we can start with this packaged solution and can extend in any direction a customer needs. That’s very hard to do with other solutions. That’s an advantage for us,” Benghiat said.
Likewise, Bramasol formalized a packaged solution to help establish itself in financial accounting, where there was a need for midsize enterprise solutions, said John Froelich, vice president of marketing and strategy. In 2017, the company’s revenue recognition (RevRec) business increased 150%, and from a couple of dozen customers to more than 100. “We noticed there was opportunity to provide some specialized reporting that isn’t out of the box, so we created our own packaged solutions to provide a comprehensive set of reports and analytics to help customers better understand their revenue accounting,” Froelich said.
5. Simplicity, Predictability for Customers
Enterprise software implementations can be complex, costly and time-consuming—all of which worry customers and can cause lengthy delays in purchasing decisions. Packaged solutions alleviate many of those concerns. India-based Neeyamo has seven SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions, each of which has proven attractive to customers because of their simplicity and reliability. “Customers are relieved about the predictability this offers. They don’t have to watch six demos. They know it follows best practices and gives them a leg up on their business transformation journey,” said Guhan Ramanan, senior vice president of business transformation at Neeyamo.
Customers increasingly want innovative solutions with quicker time to value, fixed cost, and no surprises, said Gordon Laverock, managing partner, North America, for Presence of IT.“Packaged solutions give us an accelerated starting point. Customers want solutions out of the box, as quick as possible, with employees trained and the business enabled. We can do that in five weeks,” Laverock said. “Within the first week, we can show them a prototype of how their system will evolve. They understand how their business will look on it. The sooner a customer has that visibility, the more chance for success.”
In the coming weeks, we’ll highlight even more partner feedback and success stories around packaged solutions. For more information and to get started as an existing SAP partner, talk to your partner business manager or visit SAP PartnerEdge.
Find the right SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solution that fits your needs, visit SAP Partner Package Finder.