Choosing an implementation partner is critical to the success of your project and your business. The SuccessFactors project is also a public cloud solution project that naturally leads to cloud transformation for organizations. Adopting a cloud mindset is often part of the scope of SuccessFactors projects. SAP will be happy to guide you in choosing a partner.
It's amazing how organizations review RFPs and review processes to ensure features and functionality meet their business needs. However, their selection of consulting partners to launch the system happened relatively quickly, in some cases purely on the basis of cost.
Buying a new software solution is like buying a complex machine; choosing a partner is like delivering and assembling a team. The team's experience and skills are truly the key to success.
Selection of advisors for business partners
SAP Partner FinderIt can be used to identify authorized SAP SuccessFactors partners and certified consultants for customers to review their knowledge and experience.
SAP Partner Finder
We have the following classes,
Basic, basic:Core competency level partners have met the training and delivery requirements for at least one SAP product and/or process specialization.
Advanced:Partners with an advanced competency level demonstrate the progress of their SAP practice in specific competencies. Working with one of these partners means access to more certified consultants, platform integration options, and more successfully executed projects that demonstrate a deeper level of customer success.
expert:Partners achieving this highest level have demonstrated exceptional success in terms of client capabilities. These partners can help customers complete end-to-end transformation projects using their proven portfolio of capabilities and ability to develop unique solutions in specific areas.
SAP Partner Finder - Case Studies
The following articles are also useful for youChoose the right partner for lifelong success
Certified product knowledge
SAP strongly recommends that all HXM consultants are certified and up to date in order to work with our customers. Ask your partner for proof of valid Associate certification credentials and validate their digital badge on Credly (all you need is the consultant's name and the requested SAP certification name), or contact your SAP Customer Success partner to help. Configuration access is also exclusive to certified consultants.fra CredlyYou can check resource certification for free in minutes.
Credly - an easy way to verify valid credentials
Here is an example of how to find an advisor (my EC certificate and last update date are shown here, which usually refers to the time of the last post or posts)
Example – EC certificate
The most prestigious certification award is our SAP SuccessFactors Professional certification, which demonstrates proven implementation expertise within a specific product area. Learn more about our professional certification program and request a professional badge from your partners. These certifications are achieved through supervisory testing and are not easy to achieve without an in-depth understanding of the product. (Configure the access policy)
The best recommended partner in your region and industry
When looking at user feedback (peer-to-peer), you can seek help from the SAP team to arrange another user reference for their experience, the SuccessFactors community (https://community.successfactors.com/) about feedback and experiences.
Some questions that will help you find the right partner for you,
1. How many similar SuccessFactors projects have been delivered in the same or similar scope and countries?
Let's say you are implementing an SF LMS. If the partner does not provide the LMS project, but only SF EC (or any other module). This is a solid risk factor worth considering.
Let's say you are setting up Employee Central or Employee Central Payroll in the Gulf region and your partner has experience only in India. The two regions are very different due to the legal framework and regulations, which is a risk factor that you should mention in the interview.
2. What is the working setup for the delivery team?
Some partners prefer remote control only, others on-site only or hybrid. Some expert resources can be shared or dedicated. Sometimes the partner solution architect is too technical with a limited understanding of the process and needs guidance from your HR process owner. It is best to consider these factors as appropriate for your situation. It's like choosing a 3 year old used car, the best choice for you is different than your neighbor or friend, there are several factors to consider,
3. Who will be your designated advisor?
Let's face it, consulting is a human business; even the strongest and largest partners may not have the resources to meet the exact timing and scope. The consultancy, not company A or B, is good or bad, but usually the resource/expert is remembered A or B. Consultants should model problems and offer solutions; therefore, even certification does not guarantee ideal solution modeling. Shared or critical resources, commitment and availability are also imperative; several parallel projects with partners or many new hires are also risk factors you should consider.
4. Language barriers and cultural compatibility?
Offshore or nearshore is a common concept and has been used successfully for decades. However, the area should be well integrated, preferably with a local presence (e.g. Arabic and Spanish speakers as needed in the field). In addition, there are some risk factors in the first project of a southern European partner with a northern European customer. You can hear several examples of why or how projects failed simply because of cultural adaptation.
5. Any flags during the scope of work negotiations?
Unlike blueprint-based on-premises solutions, public cloud solutions are based on fit-gap analysis. If the partners agree on every point and provide tailored solutions to these problems instead of offering ready-made options. This is also a classic red flag, as any avoidable custom development increases costs, project timelines and support, thus increasing the overall cost of operations.
6. Previous project references?
Even if it's not the same SuccessFactors module, try to get as many references as possible to make a decision. Ideally, you should talk to the SuccessFactors project manager and/or architect, not the sales team, partners, or CEO. The customer experience is also important and knowing how previous customers viewed their service can be very helpful in your selection process.
7. If possible, check the total costs of previous projects.
It is not uncommon to work on longer, more expensive projects with multiple change requests out of reach. There are several reasons why the project is going in that direction. One of the reasons is the mentality of the partners and their business models.
8. How long will the proposed project last?
The activation method and test cycle are very simple. It would be quite surprising if you got an offer that was significantly shorter than everyone else. You can perform health checks such as tests and training activities. How long are they? You can also ask for references if the partner claims to deliver the project faster.
9. What is the price of the project?
Consulting services are not commercial goods (unlike 1 kg of iron or almost identical chemical products). Finding the right partner can be compared to finding the right dentist or surgeon. Some risk factors can be eliminated if you have the right candidates who are certified and experienced.
Don't forget that project upgrades are time consuming and expensive and affect the mood of internal IT and business parties. A bad start to a software implementation can quickly lead to more expensive corrective actions.
Usually, if the offer is much lower than the others, there is a good reason behind it. It is rare to find a good dentist, surgeon or personal trainer (let's say a service provider) that is much cheaper than the market. The same applies to choosing a software implementation partner.
10. Partner requests and questions?
Established partners will often start asking questions about management and trying to get resources from your organization during the project. (HRIT Program Manager, HR Program Lead and Verify Ownership, Request Test Partner, Business End User, etc.). They also promote standard features and functionality to limit the scope of custom development, reduce complexity and encourage cloud thinking. They also try to clearly define the scope of work, who owns the migration of master data, change management, process owners, ask questions about landscape and interfaces.
11. About the RFP Process and Iterations
Customers often share scope documents and request information from partners. Most requests are available in the standard if some partners respond while others usually share that it is not a standard and that change requests are needed. It is also an important indicator of capacity (or business plan).
Finding the right implementation partner for your business is eerily similar to finding a partner for the routine maintenance of your new Tesla electric car or any other complex high-tech machine. You can follow the manufacturer's instructions and use certified networks and your experience as recommended. Or follow a price list that usually doesn't give the best results.
In short, a good implementation partner is absolutely needed for a successful project, i.a. An exemplary implementation partner has consultants with good communication skills, curiosity and commitment, solid technical experience and a cultural fit with the customer. Last but not least, working with the SAP team is key to being a successful partner.
Your Customer Success Partner (CSP) will also be happy to provide further guidance, so please feel free to contact us.