4 critical success factors for selecting an SAP system implementation provider


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There is so much to learn from failed SAP implementations, but one of the most important involves system implementation provider (SI) selection.  Indeed, I have seen a direct correlation between SAP SI failures and how companies approach the SI selection process. 

The traditional procurement approach is no longer appropriate for a number of reasons, including the evolution of the hosting market (specifically the hyperscalers), SAP’s RISE offering, and the many pivots SIs have had to make to keep their seat at the table with companies.  Objectively understanding your sourcing options, the benefits and risks that come with each option, and leveraging leading-edge best practices, will put you in a better position to be able to make these evaluations and ultimately make the right selection.

In your consultant selection, you must ensure your selected SI has:

  • Industry experience and industry-specific tools
  • Strength of the proposed SI core team members
  • Technical depth and bench strength of resources
  • Competency balance
  • Situational awareness
  • Proactive communicators

Understanding the software product and ensuring that there’s a competency balance between what the SI brings to the table versus your own internal talent is most important.  You also want the SI to bring a situational awareness, meaning that they can prove that they’ve done these kinds of projects before.  The SI also needs to be proactive in communications.  They should not only identify issues for you, but they should give you the lead time necessary to make big decisions on these projects.

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