If you are considering an implementation of SAP Business One let me start by congratulating you on your choice of product. SAP Business One is one of the best SME products on the market today. As you are reading this blog you might be at the early investigation stage for new business management software or you might be about to finalise your plans for the implementation of SAP Business One and you are searching the web for some implementation advice. The question we want to answer is – “I have a budget for implementation services – how do I ensure that I deliver on budget”. What areas of the proposal should I focus on to ensure that I can best manage the implementation to a budget?

In my experience the areas of implementation of any business management solution that cause the most budgetary scope creep are: data conversion, user acceptance testing, reporting and development.

It sounds obvious but let’s not forget that a good scope of works is critical to managing any implementation.

Areas of focus for this scope of works should include all areas of functionality but let’s focus our discussion on the areas of greatest potential scope creep:

  1. Data conversion – the team at Leverage has written a blog dedicated to data conversion so I won’t repeat what has already been written. The type of data conversion that you decide on together with your ability to provide good clean data from your legacy system will have a substantial impact on pricing and will help contain any scope creep.
  2. User acceptance testing – this is a critical component of any good implementation methodology. When the pilot system is installed it is critical that your users test the system in a “day to day working environment”. Don’t under-estimate the need for a comprehensive user acceptance testing plan – what functionality will be tested by which users on what days?
  3. Reporting – SAP Business One has lots of really good reporting options – SAP Crystal Reports, SAP Business One standard reports, SAP Business One Query Manager, SAP Business One Dashboards, SAP Business One Excel Pivot tables etc. More than any other business management solution on the market today SAP Business One gives you a number of reporting options – this is one of the real advantages of partnering with the world’s largest provider of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. Even with all of these options available reporting will require careful planning. What reports are required and in what format (mobile, printed, web) can have a substantial impact on implementation pricing.
  4. Development – SAP Business One offers some great development tools – the SAP Business One SDK (Software Development Kit) and the SAP Business One Integration Framework. There is a Solution Developers Network – where SAP Business One development teams can go on-line and share their experiences and ideas. Development for customers can range from simple add-on solutions to comprehensive integration and modular development projects. Development and integration work to any business management solution should be carefully scoped and tested.

Let’s not forget that when implementing a business management solution the involvement of the customer is critical – in fact there are several areas where the customer can assist to reduce implementation costs.

A good implementation methodology, a solid scope of works and the commitment of your team and a good SAP Business One partner will ensure success every time.