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Author's profile photo Michael Renz

Business Configuration: The hidden Gem of SAP Business ByDesign

The average cost of implementing an ERP varies greatly, so it is the most popular hit on google giving a range from 100.000$ to 750.000$ and takes 18.4 months. As this is an old and well-known pain, it’s not a surprise that numerous solutions evolved to reduce implementation costs. The majority of solutions rely on delivering best practices in the form of pre-defined content, such as Incoterms and implementation templates. Pre-delivered content can cover around 50% of the implementation activities. Templates on the other side can be as good as fully predefined, with the weakness to be niche, inflexible and require continuous maintenance. Another unsolved problem are dependencies between features, let’s say your company is selling project-based services and is charging based on time and material, it comes along with the prerequisite to have a screen to record time, but also requires additional checks on the invoicing side before an Invoice can be released.


Configuring your ERP doesn’t have to be a nightmare

A new view on an old problem: With serving 92% of the Forbes Global 2000, it’s not exaggerated to say that SAP knows best, the business best practices when it comes to setting up an ERP solution. No other company supports best practices at such a scale and, consequently, no other company has the ability to understand as deeply business configuration. The SAP Business ByDesign Business Configuration was built to take advantage of this understanding by digitalizing the data to one of the most complete business configuration ever constructed. The intelligent configuration engine digitalized thousands of best practices and is capable to interpret trillions of potential combinations in real time. The beauty of the beast is that it all translates into an easy to understand business language by handling the complexity behind the scene. With an intelligent configuration tool, the implementation can be as quick as 32h. Significantly lower implementation cost and time allow the consultants and customers can focus on higher value tasks, such as business process innovation.


Customizing as easy as buying a car

The vision to bring an online shopping experience to consultants and customers is achieved by structuring business capabilities into a business catalog, by listing the available business functionality sorted by business areas such as Sales and Procurement. The heart of the catalog is the inbuilt intelligent algorithm, which ensures that the basket (solution scoping) is consistent and guarantees that mandatory configuration is available, which officially ends the era of error messages like “Missing/Inconsistent Configuration”. In an online car configurator, it takes around 30 decisions to shop a car, on the other side an ERP system comes along with an overwhelming complexity and flexibility, consultants exist for a reason. Configuration comes along with dependencies, best practices, and localization specifics. If we take a complete ERP solution for small and medium-sized companies as an example, it takes are around 2500 feature decisions, over thousand dependencies and around 300-800 fine-tuning activities to get the system up and running, which are the main driver for long and costly implementation projects. A car configurator has around 50 feature decisions and less than 10 dependencies. Besides a humanized, accelerated and low-cost implementation, the state-of-the-art business configurator in SAP Business ByDesign supports the continuous adaptation of the system to make change an easy and shopping like experience. New processes can be activated, and existing ones changed with the ease of adding them to the basket and deploy them to your production system.


Turn your challenges into opportunities

If it comes to digital transformation it can’t be better said, as English Scientist Charles Robert Darwin, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution: “It Is not the strongest that survives but the most adaptable”. In today’s business environment it is less about having the right system from the start, but the ability to adapt continuously business models and operational processes in order to accommodate market changes. The truth is that a major part of a company’s digital agility comes down to the flexibility of continuously adapting the ERP, which is the backbone of the daily operations. As unsexy as the term “customizing” is, that’s what needs to be done to unleash the full potential of the digital economy and prepare your business for growth. Digital transformation is real and it’s time to let the machine do the technical, repetitive tasks, while humans focus on process innovation and growth.

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