Choosing the right SAP Business One (SAP B1) partner for your business18 Jul 2013 | by Natalie
Are you looking to implement SAP Business One (SAP B1) and you are asking yourself “how do I go about choosing the right SAP Business One (SAP B1) partner to do the implementation of SAP Business One and on-going support?” If so this article is for you.
Some quick background – in Australia implementation and first level support of SAP Business One is done through SAP Business One accredited partners. An SAP Business One accredited partner can offer support and implementation services for SAP Business One including delivery of licenses for SAP Business One, implementation, training, development and integration. Making sure that you choose the right partner is of critical importance.
Here is a list of questions you should be asking your potential SAP Business One partner:
- What SAP Business One implementation experience does the partner have? SAP Business One partners in Australia are grouped into three categories – Gold, Silver and Bronze. As a general rule the SAP Business One Gold Partners are the most experienced – offering more technical, implementation and support band-width and SAP Business One product experience. Ask your potential SAP Business One partner what previous experience they have implementing SAP Business One in your industry with companies that are similar in size (and functional requirements) to your business. The more experience an SAP Business One partner has in your industry and geography the more cost effective and timely your implementation and support of SAP Business One is likely to be. As an example an experienced SAP Business One partner with knowledge and experience in your industry will have previously configured SAP Business One for similar requirements to yours and will have pre-written reports and functional sets for your industry.
- What complimentary solutions are included and supported by the local SAP Business One partner? Depending on your functional requirements you might require add-on or complimentary solutions for SAP Business One. Ask your SAP Business One partner what complimentary solutions they support and establish whether these solutions (or any others) are important for your specific implementation of SAP Business One.
- Is support local? The bottom line is that local support tends to be delivered in a timelier and more cost effective manner. Does your SAP Business One partner offer local support and if not what costs are involved in supporting your site remotely and how often can you get someone on-site at your premises.
- What is included in my support agreement? Most SAP Business One partners offer support agreements which include an element of SAP support, program updates and partner support. Find out what is included and importantly what is not included in your support agreement. Get confirmation of the inclusions and exclusions in writing. Try and ensure that your SAP Business One partner offers comprehensive support options. Ensure that your SAP Business One partner has a fully functional support desk. Ask for the background and experience of staff on the support desk and their support desk procedures
- Can I meet the consultancy team? Spend some time with the SAP Business One partner consultancy team – the team that will work on and support your implementation of SAP Business One. Make sure that you understand how the implementation consultants work, their previous experience and ensure that there is agreement on expectations.
- Is the proposed implementation fixed price? Wherever possible ask for a fixed price implementation based on a scope of works. Depending on the type of implementation a fixed price might not always be possible. At the very least make sure that the SAP Business One partner thoroughly understands your business processes, requirements and company specific details. The more time you spend upfront on analysis and design of your requirements the more accurate the proposal and pricing will be. Make time upfront to cover your requirements to ensure a smoother implementation of SAP Business One.
- What are the annual costs after year one? Making an informed decision means knowing all of the facts and figures associated with your implementation of SAP Business One. Make sure you consider the TCO – Total Cost of Ownership. Ask for the likely costs including on-going annual maintenance and support costs.
- What implementation methodology will be used to implement and support SAP Business One? SAP offers the SAP Business One Partner community access to great resources including implementation and support methodologies. Ask your SAP Business One partner which methodology for implementation and support of SAP Business One they use. What documentation, project plans, project meetings and implementation guidelines should you expect when you implement SAP Business One?
- What development capability does the SAP Business One partner offer? Even if you do not require SAP Business One development for your initial implementation of SAP Business One as your business grows you might need development capability to integrate to third party applications or have company specific functionality built into SAP Business One. Fortunately SAP Business One offers great development and integration toolsets – make sure that the SAP Business One partner that you choose to deal with has experience using the SAP Business One Software Development Kit and SAP Integration Framework.
As the customer you have choice. There are several SAP Business One partners in Australia and the good news is that you can choose the partner that you feel is best suited to your business and your specific requirements. Choose wisely for a long and profitable relationship.