The choice of an SAP implementation partner is at least as important as which software you choose. You need a human capital management platform that fits your business requirements. You also need a partner who will take the time to understand the unique way you do business.
Fortunately, SAP maintains a network of qualified partners. There are certification requirements, and SAP maintains partner levels based on experience ratings. Begin by using the SAP Partner Site to learn about SAP partnership and what it means. Create a list of potential partners by searching company type, solution focus, industry, or location.
Select a list of partners who have experience in your industry. Begin to narrow your search by visiting their websites to examine their experience and credentials.
Now the real work begins. It’s time to narrow your list.
- 1. Have informal conversations with the partners on your list. The purpose of the conversation is to find out if this is a partner with whom you want to work. An informal conversation will give you a much better feel for the relationship than a formal presentation. A good partner will want to know about your business and will be interested in your human capital strategy. They will not be quick to jump to a conclusion and will not assume that your business is exactly like others in your industry or vertical.
- 2. Pay attention to how they answer your questions. If they answer your questions directly and in plain language, keep them on your list. It’s easy to sound knowledgeable with technical talk, but the best will be those who can explain complex information in simple terms.
- 3. Keep prospects on your list if they demonstrate knowledge of the entire range of solutions you need. A good SAP partner will be well grounded in both on-premises and cloud solutions if you need them, and will be able to handle a hybrid of both. Bear in mind it is not unusual for partners with specialized expertise to work together.
- 4. Get references and call them. Contact colleagues to learn their experiences. Find out which companies will stay the course until you achieve success and which will simply install the software and disappear. Learn how your prospects handled situations when issues arose, and how they handled problems and complaints.
- 5. Check financial stability and background. Ask for financial references and call them.
- 6. Ask your finalists to present their case in person, and use the opportunity to have informal conversations to check the working relationship.
- 7. If you have a requirement for a formal procurement process, by all means use it, but don’t waste energy on a selection process if you don’t need it.
The steps we have outlined here will help you select the partner that is right for you and your business. Do your due diligence to achieve the best possible outcome.
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