At the risk of sounding like an infomercial for SAP or turning Irregular Enterprise into 'SAPWatch,' I recently learned about a consulting shop that guarantees implementing SAP All-in-One in three months at a fixed price. I was skeptical given that the on-demand Business ByDesign implementations I'm hearing about are taking considerably longer, largely because of data normalization but also because of process change management. This is what Geir Thoresen of Pearl Consulting in Norway told me in an email conversation:
We have used this method to implement solutions at three different customers sites in the last year. They are all live and happy. The key elements are as follows:
- We sell in and implement All in One (with accelerators from Pearl/SAP). Before we sign the contract we are very clear about what the solution is, and if the customer cannot accept the solution, then this is not an All in One implementation
- The solution is demoed for the customer before signing any contract, the solution is described in the contract, together with project plan (included resource plan, training plan and communication plan) , who has the responsibility to do what and of course the fix price for the project. This level of detail means we have very few change orders to these projects.
- The project start up with WSs on the All in One solution. there is no 'business blueprint' phase so what they see is what they get.
- The implementation focus is on training, conversion and organizational set up in SAP.
- The consultants working on these projects are usually very experienced. Most of them have more than 8 years of SAP project experience
- We have very experienced consultants on conversion programs
- We have a lot of system and training documentation “ready to use”
- We plan for a support period after go-live with defined resources in one to one and a half months. These customers are often not able to do much work in the system before go-live. This is often a restriction based on their size and number of employees.
- We also offer operational support after go-live in both SAP Basis and the application
That sounds like a recipe for success and a methodology from which SAP itself might learn something new. The next step will be ferreting out customers willing to share their experience. I was equally interested in Geir's thoughts on the SAP calculator since I had been hearing grumblings about its true efficacy.
The calculator itself is OK, but it is important that the customer understand that there is some important prerequisites such as:
* This is a 'one company code' solution, not one that goes into multiple companies * There is is no change management included * Interfaces are not included
In summary the figures the calculator gives are OK as a starting point and gives a good idea about what an implementation can/will cost in services and licenses. But it diesn't include maintenance.
In other words, the calculator is a step in the right direction but buyers need to be very clear about what they're seeing and buying into. That's important because all too often buyers make assumptions that turn out to be false and which will almost certainly lead to one of Mike Krigsman's project failures.