Choosing the right implementation partners is arguably even more important than your choice of ERP software. If you are considering SAP S4/HANA for your organization, then you may be trying to determine the best SAP system integrator. You may be considering Deloitte, Capgemini, Accenture, or another SI.

A successful SAP S4/HANA implementation is largely a result of the system integrator you choose, so this is an important decision. With all that’s on the line in a complex digital transformation like this, this isn’t a decision that you will want to take lightly.

Here are a few things to consider as you explore the best SAP system integrator for your organization:

Evaluate SAP system integrators based on competencies and scale

First, you will want to evaluate your options based on the competencies of the system integrator team members. You will want to vet resources for criteria such as:

  • Global footprint consistent with your organization’s
  • Individual competencies of team members
  • Experience with S4/HANA, as opposed to older versions of SAP
  • Industry experience
  • Cultural fit with your organization

You will likely spend a good deal of money and time with your chosen system integrator, so it is important that they bring the right competencies to the table.

Consider all of your SAP system integrator options

I have seen too many organizations limit their options to Deloitte, Capgemini, Accenture, and other big system integrators. But there are plenty of other good options out there in the market. You can source SAP S4/HANA consultants from alternative system integrators, resellers, and independent third parties. And, there is no need to put all your eggs in one basket with one integrator.

Remember who is in charge of your SAP S4/HANA implementation (hint: it’s not your system integrator)

I have seen too many organizations entirely outsource their SAP implementations with a hands-off approach. Based on my experience as an SAP expert witness (link to https://thirdstage-consulting.com/my-life-as-an-sap-expert-witness/), this is often a recipe for failure. It is important that you and your team take ownership of the transformation. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how to deploy SAP, so remember that you are in charge of your system integrator and other SAP consultants – not the other way around.

Understand your system integrator’s strengths – but also recognize their weaknesses

Deloitte, Capgemini, and Accenture are good examples of system integrators with very deep competencies in SAP. It is hard to find resources with as much functional and technical depth and quality.

But like every organization, these system integrators have weaknesses as well. For example, the big system integrators are typically not as good at things like:

  • SAP implementation readiness, to ensure you have a foundation in place to make the most effective use of your system integrator (learn more in our blog about how to plan for an SAP S4/HANA implementation)
  • Organizational change management, especially strategic items like organizational design and executive alignment
  • Data migration strategy and mapping
  • Establishing your internal SAP center of excellence
  • Building your internal IT organization to support SAP in the long-term
  • Knowledge transfer and documentation

Be sure to identify your system integrator’s weaknesses and augment with competent third parties. Third Stage Consulting is one such example.

Mitigate risk via independent SAP project quality assurance

SAP transformations rarely go as planned. While your system integrator is knee deep in SAP configuration, testing, and training, someone needs to focus on keeping an eye on the overall project. This includes identifying and mitigating risks as they arise. This helps mitigate risk, hold your system integrator accountable, and augment the project voids left by your system integrator. Companies such as Third Stage Consulting are good options to provide this independent SAP project quality assurance.

Conclusion

Choosing your SAP system integrator is one of the biggest decisions you will make on your transformation. Whether you contract with Deloitte, Capgemini, Accenture, or someone entirely different, you will want to assemble the external SAP consulting team that makes the most sense for your organization.

Learn more about our 20 Lessons from Over 1,000 ERP Implementations.

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