SAP Services to assist SAP Implementation Partners: Partner Mentoring and Coaching
Last updated: 5 August 2021
- Are you working with an SAP solution, innovation, or new technology you have not taken live before? Would you benefit from guidance from an SAP expert?
- SAP Services now offers inexpensive timely access to remote expert consultants to help with specific questions or to provide weekly proactive advice for your projects.
- SAP expertise applied when you need it can reduce project risk and delays, help you avoid pitfalls and protect your margin.
In 2020, SAP surveyed partners about how SAP Services can help them be more successful. The top two requests were help getting their consultants from “book smart” to “street smart” and to be able to call an expert when needed.
In February 2021, SAP launched two new global services to allow SAP partners to buy expertise and advice directly from SAP Services. The inexpensive services are called Partner Mentoring and Partner Coaching and are available worldwide. The services allow partners to build their skills and get assistance from SAP for end-customer projects.
Collaboration with SAP can lead to:
- Reduced support tickets
- Fewer escalations
- More reliable estimates and timelines
- Lower risk
- Better customer experience
With Partner Mentoring you talk every week with one designated mentor who gets to know you and your project while Partner Coaching offers advice from different experts just when you request it. Partner Mentoring provides advice for one role e.g. Technical Architect, while Partner Coaching covers a broader range of topics. Partner Mentoring is available in any language and runs for 3 months while Partner Coaching is available in English and Chinese and runs for 6 months.
Consider the partner who has delivered many SuccessFactors projects but have just won their first payroll project. They want early success with this business critical project and solution, They have lots of bright consultants who can learn quickly but they see the value of a mentor who has done it many times before. They know that real world experience, clearly articulated, can help them start right, dodge pitfalls and prioritize effectively.
Consider the project that will go-live in 3 months time. There are elements of the solution that the team have never taken live before. What if they hit a roadblock that requires very deep solution experience borne from multiple projects? What if the roadblock threatens to delay the go-live? Having fast access to a Coach with specific knowledge can make a big difference.
The Partner Mentoring service is a proactive and reactive service for Partners, who are new to an SAP module, solution or competency. This service provides a weekly meeting with one designated mentor in your chosen language to advise on execution. The partner can choose a Project Manager, Solution Architect, Technical Architect or Integration Advisor. The service works best when one project is in focus but this is not a requirement.
The Partner Coaching service is a reactive on-demand service that gives Partners access to multiple SAP coaches by topic to address SAP cloud implementation challenges. The Service allows the Partner’s resources to engage in live sessions in English focused on addressing implementation questions. It can be used for multiple end customer projects.
Details of the services are published in the Partner Edge Partner Benefits Catalog. Search for “Mentoring” or “Coaching” at https://partnerbenefitscatalog.sap.com. (An S-user login is required). Alternatively, just contact SAP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prices vary by country: as an example Partner Mentoring is below 7K EUR in France and Partner Coaching is below 6K USD in the USA.
How to Buy
Most of the services are available to buy directly online in the Partner Benefits Catalog for selected countries. (Services for Ariba are not available). The purchase is made by clicking on “Buy Now” in the description panel and you will receive an order confirmation. (If it is your first time purchasing through SAP Store you will need to create a support request to become an “authorized buyer”. We will turn this request around quickly). The service will start within 2 weeks and you will be invoiced.
Where purchase is not available online or if the service needs to be adjusted, SAP will prepare an Order Form and send it to you for approval.
- Services are bought on an SAP professional Service Order Form referencing standard SAP Services GTCs
- Prices are country specific and are available on request
- Services are fixed fee and billed in advance
- Pre-requisite is that you have consultants who are trained / certified
- Services will start 2 to 4 weeks after purchase
- Coaching for SAP S/4HANA On-Premise and Cloud Private Edition is already available in the SAP Store
- Contact your Partner Business Manager about the possibility of reducing the price using Business Development Funds (BDFs).
Partner Mentoring in more detail
See our YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/sa0lsz5IC_E
The service provides a weekly call with a named mentor for 3 months. For each 1 hour call, the mentor is allocated more than 1 hour for preparation/follow-up. It is available for the following solutions:
- SAP SuccessFactors
- SAP Customer Experience
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud (essentials edition)
- SAP Ariba
- Most other SAP solutions on request.
The service offers guidance from one of four possible disciplines:
- Project Manager
- Technical Architect
- Solution Architect covering functional topics
- Integration Advisor
For SAP Cloud implementation partners that are new to an SAP module, solution or competency, the partner mentoring service provides project-specific advice so that delays and risks are minimized. Proactive and reactive advice for each project phase includes key goals, lessons learnt from other projects and common pitfalls. The SAP mentor does not meet the end-customer and you can choose whether to let the end-customer know about the SAP service and advice received. Some partners are using this as a sales point to their customers: supported by SAP Partner Mentoring services. The length of calls and the duration of the service can be adjusted.
The approach is as follows:
- The partner completes a questionnaire about their team and their projects prior to a kick-off meeting.
- SAP will host a kick-off meeting to understand the project in focus.
- The partner shares their project related questions two days in advance of each call.
- The mentor researches and prepares for the meeting.
- One-hour weekly call: up to four partner resources can attend and the mentor will answer and share knowledge on the topic.
- For each 1 hour call, the mentor is allocated more than 1 hour for preparation/follow-up.
- Meetings will be conducted in the project language.
- SAP provide minutes for the meeting afterwards.
The scope of each mentor:
- Project Manager mentor: will share best practice and lessons learned from other projects and can help the partner check project aspects like whether the scope and processes are defined, prioritized and documented.
- Solution Architect mentor: will share best practice and lessons learned from other projects and can help the partner check aspects like whether current deliverables for functional solution match what we would expect from SAP’s Activate methodology. The Solution Architect mentor can provide advice on solution, functional and process design during the weekly call.
- Technical Architect mentor: will share best practice and lessons learned from other projects and can help the Partner check aspects like whether technical design has been effectively documented. The Technical Architect mentor can provide advice on technical design including customizations, extensions and security.
- Integration Advisor mentor: will share best practice and lessons learned from other projects and can help the Partner check aspects like whether the integration solution is effectively managed. The Integration Advisor mentor can provide advice on integration design and standard integrations flows provided by SAP during the weekly call.
The partner should have trained or certified resources to use the service. The service is billed in advance. Is a topic too big for one meeting? We can flex the delivery timing or offer separate spot consulting delivered in parallel.
Consider a project rushing through an Explore phase. Could a second set of external eyes proactively catch a key consideration? Has the team thought through the impact of their solution design on the duration and complexity of data migration? Will stretching to a “should have” requirement weigh the project down with added work?
Partner Coaching in more detail
See our YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/_lhTsxeXP_s
Request a 30-minute virtual session with an SAP coach. The service includes 10 sessions and runs for six months and can be used across multiple end-customer projects. For each 30 minutes request, the coach is allocated more than 1 hour for preparation/follow-up. Some requests will require less time than this and some requests will require more.
Different SAP coaches are made available based on the topic selected. Topics can include the functional solution, technical questions and project management. SAP coaches do not meet the end-customer and you can choose whether to let the end-customer know about the SAP service and advice received. Some partners are using this as a sales point to their customers: supported by SAP Partner Coaching services.
The service is available for specific parts of:
- SAP Ariba
- SAP Customer Experience
- SAP SuccessFactors
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud
Coaching for SAP S/4HANA On-Premise and SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition is available to partners and customers through a similar service that can be seen in the SAP Store. https://store.sap.com/ Search for “Coach”.
The approach is as follows:
- The partner completes a questionnaire about their team and projects prior to a kick-off meeting.
- The partner completes an online request form for each session.
- The allocated SAP coach researches the topic and prepares before the session.
- The 30 minute sessions are typically scheduled within 2 working days and no later than 4 working days.
- All sessions will be conducted in English but other languages can be made available on request. Up to five partner resources can attend.
- The coach will answer and share knowledge on the topic. This could be to answer how to questions or do some live problem solving.
- The coach provides minutes for the session afterwards.
- For each 30 minutes request, the coach is allocated more than 1 hour for preparation/follow-up. Some requests will require less time than this and some requests will require more.
Requests can be combined into a longer 60-minute session if that is appropriate. The request must be specific to one customer project. Cancellations and changes to a scheduled session require 24 hours’ notice.
The partner must have trained or certified resources to use the service. The service is billed in advance and the partner must use all 10 sessions within the six months. Is a topic is too big for one meeting? We can flex the delivery approach or offer separate spot consulting delivered in parallel.
Does the project team have a knowledge gap that cannot be filled? Perhaps the project could be de-risked by knowing you can turn to a n experienced coach quickly to double check your key decisions.
Both services can be flexed. For example:
- Both services can be increased in size e.g. duration or number of requests
- Partner Mentoring Service can be a meeting every 2 weeks rather than weekly
- Partner Coaching Service can be delivered in other languages in some countries e.g., Chinese in China
- Multiple services can be combined into a single order form
I hope you found this blog informative
Application Architect at SAP Services UK