The Neutral Objectivity of an SAP Gold Partner
SAP Partnership Does Not Imply Platform Bias
By Matt Campbell, Founder SCMO2
SCMO2 recently became an SAP Gold Partner, and no doubt we are very proud to have achieved this milestone in our growth as a company. But this post is not about what that means for us. Rather, this post is about what that means for our customers, what more we can now do to help them achieve their goals and how we have become even more objective in the recommendations we offer in assessments.
We have always been focused on making improvements to supply chain planning business processes and system designs—primarily enabled by SAP solutions. But we also offer system-agnostic supply chain strategy and process consulting. And we are often asked to assist in package selection as our customers establish implementation roadmaps and evaluate all their supply chain planning platform options. For this reason alone I believe it is important to explain what being an SAP Gold partner means and emphasize how it does not impact our objectivity to help customers navigate that process.
A great place to start is explaining what the various levels of SAP partnership mean:
- SAP PartnerEdge Open Ecosystem Partners are often smaller organizations, or those partners who have a new and growing relationship with SAP. All are required to complete minimum training.
- SAP PartnerEdge Silver Partners are companies that have made time, financial and other resource commitments to join SAP PartnerEdge and have met stringent entry requirements, including skills assessments and evaluation checks.
- SAP PartnerEdge Gold Partners perform at a high level across their entire business and illustrate a strong commitment to delivering business value to SAP customers. Points are allocated for competency and strategic alignment.
- SAP PartnerEdge Platinum Partners are the most strategic and global partnership organizations that attain platinum status by invitation only. They are offered this level based on a business case that is reviewed and approved by the SAP executive board.
What value does this provide to you as a customer? SAP set up this program to incentivize partners around building those skills and competencies that matter most to you—customer satisfaction, quality, and skill level.
To maintain these partner levels, consultants must complete certifications across all SAP products including IBP and Ariba, presales training sessions and screenings by the sales team, and digital supply chain COE. That means that partners are not only endorsed by SAP but are also continually monitored and evaluated to ensure you are constantly receiving the highest quality support.
Being an SAP Gold Partner does not mean that we are completely biased toward SAP products alone. Quite the contrary. Because we are recognized by SAP for our knowledge of their products and our successful track record implementing their solutions, we are even more qualified to understand whether or not a specific use case would be best served by SAP.
Our mission has always been to deliver real value to our customers through business process transformation and system implementations, and objectivity is required to deliver results. It’s the supply chain consulting equivalent to the Hippocratic Oath. Most of our assessment customers ask us to evaluate their business requirements, provide various platform options and help determine which would best satisfy their guiding principles. Oftentimes that platform is SAP; but sometimes it is not.
So the expertise we have achieved, for which we have been recognized by SAP as a Gold Partner, is precisely what drives our system objectivity. Our knowledge of all the other packages on the market, and our intimate understanding of the SAP options, allows us to help customers make decisions about the right solution for their specific case. To do otherwise would mean we have failed in our mission.