Getting partners involved in its Value Academies has been highlighted as a priority for enterprise software vendor, SAP.
The Academies are a quarterly series of executive workshops aimed at providing customers with the tools and methodologies needed to identify, deliver and measure the value of IT projects.
SAP chief value officer – global field operations, Dr. Chakib Bouhdary, said the vendor’s channel had access to a two-day training program to assist with customer engagement in the field. SAP would provide additional remote support.
“Values is created in three stages – value discovery, value realisation and value optimisation. We believe partners can look at these three areas and offer services around them, such as change and program management to help customers unleash the potential of what is being offered,” Bouhdary said.
“In the '90s many projects were completed, but not on time and budget, because customers and partners didn’t have the know-how. Business outcome is the priority now – nobody invests in software for fun.”
A new push from SAP, the academies have been running for customers since January, and are still in the pilot stage. The vendor is open to suggestions and feedback while it works on standardising the program and then scaling it.
“We cannot have one academy for everybody, so we’re looking to divide it into a few different flavours along vertical lines – we expect to have standardisation in place by the end of the year, and then in 2010 we’ll enable partners to build programs around the model, offering on-demand training and learning and creating online communities so customers can support customers,” Bouhdary said.
The Academies represent a significant investment by SAP, and would be an important part of the vendor’s engagement with customers going forward, he said.
“This is a program we have been working on for the past five years. We believe the search for value will last well beyond the economic conditions – even once they improve the recovery will take long enough that there will be a DNA change in business, so the transformation of what we are doing will be to everyone’s benefit long term.”
The first Value Academy will be in Brisbane on September 8-9, specifically for the public sector. A second is set for Melbourne in October.