May 01

What Does a Software Provider Need to Know Before Beginning the Product Certification Process with SAP?

In conversation with members of the DataXstream as they wrapped up integrating and certifying a recent third party software product with SAP I began to ask the question: What does a third party software provider need to know before beginning the certification process with SAP?

It came down to three things:

  1. Know the business case. Because integration with SAP requires commitment, time and extensive knowledge of SAP it is important to have identified the business case and the software provider’s expected ROI
  2. Integrating a product with SAP is an involved process. SAP software is specific and so integration has to be done correctly.
  3. Integrating a product with SAP requires dedication, time, and know-how because it is an involved process.

The team seemed to agree that every third party software company is surprised by the scope of the project. To integrate a product with SAP requires a broad understanding of SAP product offerings and modules. SAP is designed to work very specifically and as a result the development process is intricate. Craig Stasila compared SAP to a Swiss Army knife “it is hyper configurable.”  Additionally it is important to approach the project from the perspective of the business user. For the new software to effectively bring value to the SAP eco-system, the developer needs to keep in mind the business user’s needs and the end user’s experience with the interface. An understanding of the technical aspects of SAP NetWeaver integration and development is required to design and implement a solution that is solid and scalable.

Understanding the business case to pursue integration and certification is imperative. Stasila described a conversation he had with a software development company that was approached by SAP. An SAP representative said, “you should get that software integrated with SAP.” The client had no idea what this might involve. They had no experience with SAP and were not aware of the level of complexity. However as part of their assessment phase Stasila had provided a list of priorities the client should focus on to improve their impact in the SAP space. The client then identified items on the list of priorities that they could do in house. The client is currently pursuing those priorities to improve their position.

So if a software company finds that the business case is there for certification with SAP what then? A typical 3rd party certification project looks something like this:

The software company reaches out to DataXstream. DataXstream will execute an assessment of the project to determine the high level scope of the project, develop a blue print and create a Rough Order Management Budget (ROM). If the assessment indicates that the software client should move forward with integrating and certifying their product with SAP DataXstream can work with the client to develop a full-scale project plan in detail. DataXstream can provide resources to execute the plan as well as experience with the SAP ecosystem to help with market analysis and promotion of the certified product. DataXstream is committed to our partners and provides sales support to help answer questions throughout the sales cycle of the certified product.

DataXstream is proud to have had the opportunity to partner with many software companies over the years whose products bring value to the SAP ecosystem. SAP is a leading provider in the enterprise software market; by certifying their product with SAP our clients increase the customer base for their product and gain market value.  Please contact us for more information regarding leveraging DataXstream’s SAP expertise to integrate and certify your product with SAP.


About The Author

Marketing at DataXstream - team member since 2009, interests center around the social web, closing the gap between marketing and sales, and networking.

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