Fall is SAP Business One license renewal season for thousands of companies, which is a good reminder to reassess your investment and the value you’re getting from your SAP solution.
As a certified SAP Business One partner with over 20 years of successfully delivering and reviving SAP Business One solutions, the team here at Clients First hears plenty of stories from companies struggling to make their existing SAP system work the way they expect. From unresolved change requests to system restrictions, these organizations must decide whether the problem is the software or the support they are getting.
It’s important to understand that in almost all those cases, the underlying problems are related to the software partner, not the system itself. That is actually good news because replacing your partner is much less costly and disruptive than swapping out your core ERP!
As you’re considering signing off on that annual SAP Business One license expense, you should reflect on these questions first:
- Am I getting the service, support, and training I deserve from my current SAP partner?
- Is SAP Business One working for our business the way we expected?
- Will it be easy to adapt our SAP Business One solution to match our changing needs, long-term plans, and business growth?
Your partner should be responsive, supportive, and provide flexible options to ensure that SAP Business One is optimized to fit the unique needs of your business. If you answered no to any of these questions, consider what a new SAP Business One partner can do to improve your situation before renewing your license.
Below are the top 3 reasons organizations find it’s time to consider a new SAP Business One support, service, and training partner. You will learn how to leverage a new partner to reboot and recharge your SAP Business One solution to get the absolute most value from the system you rely on to streamline and manage your daily operations.
1. You Aren’t Getting Adequate Service from Your SAP Business One Partner
Software partnerships should be a collaborative two-way street. When you commit to an ERP software partner, you trust that they will hold up their end of the deal. But sometimes, tech companies get away with not providing the service they promise when they are courting you for an initial software sale. It might seem like identifying “bad support” should be easy, but here are a few specific examples of what that might look like:
- If your SAP Business One inquiries, questions, and support tickets go unanswered for days and weeks or are entirely ignored, your partner is not prioritizing you.
- If small project requests are consistently delayed, your partner doesn’t have the desire, resources, or workforce required to maintain and optimize your SAP Business One system.
- If your partner doesn’t communicate with you regularly to answer questions or keep you informed about SAP Business One news, they’re not too concerned about helping you get the most out of your system.
- If your partner does not offer advanced training options or training resources for new employees, they’re not worried about your long-term success with the solution.
Instead of waiting for your line in the queue, you should have a responsive partner who can offer you service and support quickly.
SAP Business One is not “set it and forget it” software – it’s a constantly evolving solution that should change and grow with your business needs. That’s why at Clients First, we take a proactive approach to putting our clients and their businesses first.
Our SAP Business One support services include a guaranteed response time and are handled by the same team of experienced consultants and developers that implement your system from the beginning. And in addition to extensive hands-on training pre-implementation, we also offer continuous training and free tutorials to help you sharpen and expand your user skills.
2. You’re Tied to an Inflexible SAP Business One Partner Hosting Environment or System Configuration
Many SAP partners will exclusively offer customers proprietary cloud hosting services and options to alleviate some of the risks of managing their environment. These partners provide shared hosting solutions with dedicated servers, regular upgrades, 24/7 access, data protection and backups, and support. Although it sounds great in theory, the reality is that this can often lead to limitations in what you can do with your system. And it’s all based on the partner’s capabilities, not your needs and requirements.
An inflexible hosting environment can leave a customer feeling locked, with no other options to move forward and grow. Let’s look at some real-world examples:
- Using the SAP cloud or similar offerings that incorporate the cloud control center. Although the cloud control center is among the most affordable hosting options and is often used in multi-tenant setups, one of the most significant issues is that you cannot leverage all add-ons in this environment. You are locked into what you can and cannot use, regardless of current or future requirements. The other issue is upgrades. In the SAP cloud, upgrades are scheduled irrespective of your business cycle. So, what if they schedule an upgrade during your busiest time of the year?
- Some larger partners have developed their own cloud solution in AWS/Google or other custom environments. While this is a great option for smaller companies who don’t have the resources or infrastructure to devote to the cloud, plenty of organizations don’t want to go full cloud or want to maintain as much control of their business as possible. The cloud can be delivered in many ways, and partners need to be able to offer those options.
- SQL only – yes, there are still a few partners that do not offer SAP HANA environments. Why? To be transparent, many don’t have the internal infrastructure or resources for HANA. Another reason is that they have authored several products around analytics, so SQL customers won’t have to convert. If they offered HANA, they would have to convert all their products to HANA, and many of their small, money-making apps would be rendered useless with its native functionality.
There are a lot of deployment and infrastructure options out there, and it’s a partner’s duty to be able to present those choices, not just “sell what’s in their bag.” At Clients First, we have clients that are on-premise, in our colocation, in their colocation, private clouds, and semi-private clouds. Basically, any way SAP Business One is delivered, we will consider alongside the best fit for the business. Our approach is to work within your existing framework for the resources needed, not to do a wholesale replacement. Learn more about how we put business needs first in every cloud migration here.
3. Your SAP Business One Implementation Didn’t Meet Expectations
When you start the process of implementing SAP Business One, your partner gets to know your business from the inside out. They are responsible for learning about your people, processes, infrastructure, and culture and coming up with detailed project phases, an achievable project schedule, and budget, and clearly defined goals and expectations.
Software partners know that you don’t have the knowledge and experience to install, configure, and train on an ERP yourself (if you did, you’d probably be in the software business and wouldn’t need them). That’s why comprehensive planning and communication are crucial to the success of an ERP implementation project. Although we all deliver the same services and software, every partner has a unique combination of resources, specialties, and project methodology.
The problems occur when the expectations you agreed on together aren’t met. You didn’t get all the features you intended, a core module isn’t working the way your business operates, your staff did not receive enough training to use the system efficiently, and the list goes on. It can be frustrating when you make a significant investment and don’t see its expected results.
From our experience, SAP Business One is an incredibly flexible system built explicitly for rapidly growing and changing businesses, so if it’s not performing as it should, it’s usually not the software. No one has a crystal ball and can predict a failed implementation, but there are ways that you can select a partner that is a better fit for your business, recharge the system to work for you, and get lasting success with your SAP investment.
Finding a great SAP Business One Partner with your best interests at heart may take a little time, but it pays dividends in the long run. If you’re serious about considering a change of partners, download our partner selection guide below.
4. Risks of Staying with a Mismatched SAP Business One Partner
On the surface, staying with your current SAP Business One partner may seem more convenient. Transitioning to a new partner requires you to put in seemingly redundant work that you already did when selecting the partner you already have. We get that; it’s not a situation anyone wants to be in.
But there are some significant risks to staying with an SAP partner who isn’t delivering the results you need. Here are just a few of them:
- High Overhead Costs
While SAP Business One is an affordable ERP solution, it’s a waste of money and resources if it’s not delivering what you need. For example, think of the time and dollars that go into developed workarounds or the maintenance and management of older software systems to get employees the data and functionality to do their daily jobs.
- Staff Attrition
If you only had a few short ERP training presentations from your partner, there’s a very high chance that your staff members have many frustrations with the system. Inadequate training and lack of support in an unfamiliar environment (that may not function properly) make it much harder to do a job than it should be.
- Security Risks
If your partner is unresponsive and doesn’t fully understand your business, you can’t guarantee they’re keeping up with necessary upgrades and patches to keep your data safe.
- Missed Business Opportunities and Delayed Growth
Suppose your SAP Business One system isn’t properly configured and implemented. In that case, you’re missing out on critical data that could help inform intelligent business decisions that will grow your business and keep you ahead of the competition.
All that is to say, the convenience of staying with a mismatched software partner will also come with countless headaches, frustrations, and hassles. Is that annual renewal fee worth it for poor service and support?
What a Good SAP Business One Partner Relationship Looks Like
Most of us assume we know what a good relationship with a software partner looks like, but if asked to articulate it clearly and put it down on paper, it might be a challenge. It can be helpful to think about what could be considered a negative partner relationship first.
An imbalance of power is a crucial marker of a negative relationship. An unfortunate but earned reputation has developed in technology and IT, where tech companies often wield the majority of power, with clients at their mercy to manage critical infrastructure. Unfortunately, it’s so common that it’s almost been normalized.
That’s not a partnership.
That’s also not the point of being an IT partner. IT and software partner companies should exist to help your business and people function as optimally as possible to reach your goals. The point of technology is to make your life easier.
So, what does a balanced and positive SAP Business One software partnership look like? A collaborative, reciprocal, and respectful partner should:
- Ask you plenty of questions to understand your industry and specific business
- Offer multiple, flexible SAP Business One hosting solutions and services to help you select the best option for your business
- Provide extensive experience implementing, optimizing, training, and supporting multiple ERP systems, not just SAP Business One
- Have a roster of satisfied clients that you can talk to
- Focus on setting up SAP Business One so that it suits your business needs right now and will be scalable in the future as you grow
- Never upsell or oversell features you don’t need right now
- Produce a realistic timeline, detailed project plan, and budget that they stick to as closely as possible
- Deliver comprehensive training, support, and service packages to ensure your team can effectively work in the system and get answers to any questions as quickly as possible
- Be responsive to your questions and service requests, providing clear expectations for response and resolve timelines, with a continuous update on the status or any changes
With decades in the business of supporting ERP systems, Clients First is a trusted software partner that offers more than just SAP Business One solutions, implementation, and support. When we start a relationship with a new client, we focus on what’s best for you. If we can’t deliver that solution, we remove ourselves from the opportunity and give our best advice.
As four-time winners of the SAP Business One Maintenance Retention Partner award, Clients First delivers flexible SAP Business One hosting, licensing, configuration, and training options to fit your needs and budget. We have one of the most talented, responsive teams of trusted consultants, project managers, and developers dedicated to optimizing and evolving your SAP Business One solution with your business.
So, if you’re on the fence about renewing with your SAP Business One partner, why not take us for a spin? We’re offering a free hour of SAP Business One consulting or system assessment where we will answer your questions, show you a ‘how to,’ perform a custom evaluation of your existing system or anything else you need. Learn more below: