Last week I was in Belgium meeting some smaller SAP customers. The idea was to get them talking on camera about their early experiences with SAP products. This is the first one I produced. It is about ECOVER, an ecological cleaning products business with presence in 26 countries. The main talking points:
- While some benefits are visible today, the customer believes it will see more in the future as SAP supports its growth.
- The software encourages the company to think differently about how it manages inventory, based on sales forecasts rather than historical inventory levels.
- The importance of having a partner who will do much of the heavy lifting.
- The need to allocate enough time to make the project a success.
- Recognizing that while SAP delivers much of what the company needs, it isn't perfect.
The back story to this is that SAP is wanting 2010 to be the year when its focus is clearly placed on meeting customer needs. You can't do that unless you know what customers are thinking and are seeing an honest assessment of how projects are working out. It asked me to produce some video that would address those issues while endeavoring to discover what it is that keeps customers engaged with SAP solutions. I'm not sure I fully achieved that but then you can only play with what you've got.
It is an interesting exercise at many levels not least because it allows SAP the opportunity to present an unvarnished face to the world from the perspective of a videographer who unashamedly takes the buyer perspective. This is very different to the 'canned' PR driven material usually found on vendor websites.
The theme about time is commonplace. I see many customers who find themselves time constrained as they implement solutions. I am surprised SAP has not latched onto this with partners and tried to figure out a way of communicating to customers the need to be conservative in setting time limits. Of course, that can quickly become an excuse for laziness or cost over-runs but there has to be a practical middle ground somewhere.
More important, I'm interested in knowing what you think.
- Does this video come close to something you can trust as authentic?
- What more would you like to know?
- Do you think this style of questioning works for those considering solutions generally?
Disclosure: SAP covered my travel expenses for visiting its customers but is not remunerating me for filming or production.