SAP Third-Party Support is:
- Alternative Support Option: A service provided by independent vendors, not by SAP directly.
- Cost-Effective: Typically offers significant cost savings compared to SAP’s support.
- Customized Services: Tailored support that often includes custom code and legacy systems.
- Extended Lifecycle Support: Enables continued use of existing SAP versions without forced upgrades.
- Focus on Customer Needs: Often praised for more personalized and responsive customer service.
Introduction to SAP Third Party Support
SAP Third Party Support plays a crucial role in modern business environments, characterized by:
- An Alternative to Direct SAP Support: Offering support services for SAP products outside the direct SAP vendor framework.
- Focus on Cost-Efficiency and Customization: Aimed at reducing operational costs while providing tailored support.
- Growing Preference Among Businesses: Increasingly favored by companies looking for greater flexibility and control over their SAP solutions.
Benefits of Third-Party Support
The adoption of third-party support for SAP products offers several distinct advantages:
- Cost Savings and Efficiency:
- Significant Reduction in Operational Costs: Substantial savings compared to traditional SAP support models.
- Optimization of IT Budgets: Allows companies to allocate more resources towards innovation and strategic initiatives.
- Enhanced Control Over Technology and Strategy:
- Customized Support Services: Tailored solutions that align closely with unique business needs.
- Strategic Flexibility: Empowers businesses to choose support that aligns with their long-term IT strategies, independent of SAP’s roadmap.
- Superior Support and Customization Options:
- Personalized Assistance: Access to dedicated support teams that provide more personalized service.
- Extended Support for Legacy Systems: Continuity of support for older SAP versions, extending their lifecycle.
Real-world Case Studies and Success Stories of Third-Party SAP Support
Third-party SAP support has demonstrated significant benefits across various industries, as evidenced by multiple case studies:
- Exela Technologies: A global leader in business process automation, Exela Technologies faced challenges in managing its extensive SAP Business Suite due to high support costs and a need for more responsive customer service. By transitioning to Spinnaker Support, they achieved a 60% reduction in support costs while enhancing service responsiveness and support quality.
- Diverse Industry Applications: Companies from design software services to geospatial solutions have reported substantial cost savings and enhanced cash flow efficiency after switching to third-party SAP support. These firms were able to redirect resources towards crucial business transitions and strategic growth initiatives, achieving significant financial benefits over multi-year agreements.
- Water and Recycling Company in England and Wales: This company implemented third-party SAP support as part of its cost control measures. The change contributed nearly £2 million annually towards strategic programs, enabling the company to serve a growing population more effectively.
- A Tokyo-Based Leader in Test and Measurement: Facing business fluctuations, this company switched to third-party support to improve cost structure and increase R&D investment. The switch resulted in savings of over $4 million in five years.
Choosing the Right Third-Party Support Provider
When selecting a third-party support provider for SAP, consider the following factors:
- Assess Provider Expertise: Ensure the provider has extensive experience and knowledge in SAP management and support.
- Understand the Scope of Support: Evaluate the breadth of services the provider offers, including their ability to handle custom code and integration with other systems.
- Check Responsiveness and Service Quality: Look for providers known for their responsiveness and high-quality service, which is crucial for effective issue resolution.
- Consider Legal and Financial Perspectives: Be aware of third-party support’s legal and financial implications, such as intellectual property rights and cost structures, compared to conventional SAP support.
- Evaluate Operational Considerations: Understand how the third-party support will integrate with your existing systems and processes, including support for modifications and upgrades.
By carefully considering these aspects, organizations can make informed decisions about third-party SAP support, aligning their IT strategies with broader business objectives.
Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid with Third-Party Support
When integrating third-party support for SAP, it’s crucial to avoid these common pitfalls:
- Not Fully Vetting the Provider:
- Overlooking Custom Code Support:
- Ignoring Transition and Integration Plans:
- Neglecting to Align Support with Business Objectives:
- Failing to Understand Scope and Limitations of Services:
Q: How does third-party SAP support differ from traditional SAP support?
A: Third-party support typically offers more personalized service and can be more cost-effective. It focuses on maintaining current systems rather than pushing for upgrades and often supports custom code and older versions of SAP.
Q: Can third-party support handle legal and compliance issues?
A: Reputable third-party support providers stay updated on regulatory changes and ensure compliance. However, it’s essential to verify this capability with your chosen provider.
Q: Is third-party support suitable for all types of SAP products?
A: Most third-party providers offer extensive coverage for various SAP products, but confirming that they can support your specific SAP applications and versions is crucial.
Q: What happens if I need to upgrade my SAP system?
A: Third-party providers typically don’t offer upgrade services. If an upgrade is necessary, you may need to transition back to SAP support or use another service for the upgrade process.
Q: Can I switch back to SAP support after using a third-party provider?
A: Yes, you can generally return to SAP support if needed. However, it’s advisable to understand any contractual obligations or transition requirements involved in switching back.