In this video extract (4 mins 54 secs) from a presentation as part of a NetSuite event, Beat Neuhaus, VP global services operations, Siemens explains how an SAP centric organization introduced a cloud based professional services solution.
The argument used was that the company needed a process solution rather than something that is accounting based. The key to success was to develop what Siemens calls 'alignment' workshops where groups were asked to come into conference room demonstrations without requirement lists but a fresh pair of eyes where users would be 'aligned' with off the shelf capabilities. This is always easier said than done.
According to Siemens, they have transparency into unique skills needed to staff projects which did not exist before and which is making project lifecycle management resource planning much easier than in the past.
Off stage, Beat said they have integrated to SAP for back office functions which cannot be moved to a cloud solution at this time.
I was struck by the fact that Siemens was prepared to sacrifice part of its long term relationship with SAP in order to get the functionality it needed to meet a business need. The suggestion is that while back office functions are regarded as essential - all business needs up as a debit and credit - for business critical functions, companies are willing to cast the net wider.
Longer term, this will mean companies need to reconsider their integration strategies if they are to get the best out of their cloud investments. Integration, it seems, never goes away.