SAP Partners: New Packaged Solutions Enable Cloud Market Success
It wasn’t long ago that big hardware and software implementations drove the majority of revenue for value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs). But in the age of cloud, customers don’t want a $5 million implementation that goes on for five years.
Partners make money in the cloud world when the customer is up and running. So as customers demand faster, more service-based offerings, partners have to turn services around far more quickly. In contrast to old-school ERP sales and implementation processes, sales reps don’t have the time to go in to a prospect’s offices for three days to understand their pain points and build a $10 million solution.
“Frankly, the services are less and the subscription margins are less, so [a quick turnaround] is key to our model,” says Grant Fraser, president and CEO of Navigator Business Solutions. “That also means more volume — not just one or two implementations per year, but one or two per month.”
To help address the drastically increased pace of business in the channel, SAP this week announced extended partner access to the SAP software portfolio to provide SMBs with fixed-scope packaged solutions that can essentially serve as templates, giving partners a more predictable price and implementation model.
“Many of our clients who are going through the process of complying with the new regulations need a way to quickly consume the information they require to do disclosures,” says John Froelich, vice president of sales for SAP Partner Bramasol. “This will get you 60 or 70 percent of the way there and help jump-start the process.”
These days, many of the challenges partners face aren’t necessarily associated with technology, but rather with compliance efforts. Bramasol has a long history of dealing in the revenue accounting space, going back to the days when Enron opened all of our eyes to the need for more visibility and clarity into financial statements, trading information, and merger and acquisition activity. The partner packages are designed to help reduce the time and resources partners and their clients have to devote to becoming compliant quickly.
SAP says the strategy was built on three key pillars: The fixed price and fixed scope provide a targeted value proposition when combined with partners’ services and intellectual property; the packages inherently contain a rigorous qualification process to ensure the value proposition of the product and the partner’s ability to delver are in alignment; and exposure on SAP.com gives customers direct access to solutions and go-to-market activities that help them grow their business.
When sales executives determine which partner to bring in, they look to specific partners because of our reputation and experience as well as our ability to provide the packages that fit that customer, says Fraser.
“As [Stephen R.] Covey [writes in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People], ‘You’re beginning with the end in mind,’” says Froelich. Hopefully, these new packages will help MSPs keep their eye on that prize and deliver more comprehensive, proven solutions.