I would like to share with you my experience with Birchman Consulting, one of the partners that I am managing, and how we worked together to help them to move to the cloud.
Birchman Consulting is one of our traditional partners in Spain. There are strong in ERP and in several industries, with a dominant position in Retail, where they built an industry solution that complements SAP solutions. Last years they included HANA and CEC portfolio as part of their strategy.
Starting 2017 we did the planning exercise, where we planned their budget: 85% On-premise and 15% Cloud, since this was the trend during last years: solid business on-premise and growing in cloud, mainly in SFSF.
They are the trusted advisors in Retail, and to be able to arrive to more customers, and Lower GB customers, they defined a PMC (Partner Managed Cloud) framework, to be able to offer all the power of SAP and Birchman Solutions to those customers.
With the plan well defined and all the energy that the new year brought, they started their sales activity in Q1. It was in the Quarter Business Review we did in April, when they raised their hand and say HELP. They saw that the On Premise business was disappearing under their feet.
Although they are experts in solutions and industry, although they approached the market with a subscription offering (based in their PMC), they got the answer from the market that prospects wanted a public cloud offering, and a cloud offering from the software provider.
Based in the trusted relationship we have, we were analyzing in an open and honest discussion how to create a recovery plan, since as mentioned above, 85% of their business plan was based in on premise solutions.
After this analysis, we agreed that we will focus in 3 areas:
- ERP cloud, instead of their PMC offering
- Analytics Cloud, to be able to package their industry knowledge (Retail, Pharma, CPG and Services) in a packaged solution.
- SAP Cloud Platform, as base to develop their own Intellectual Property
But once we did it, we realized that we were wrong. This shouldn’t be a “solution decision”, it should be a “Business Model decision”. We agreed that the first thing they had to do it was to understand the cloud business, what are their KPI, the cloud economics…. This is a different business, and we need to operate with a different business model.
So, we organized a Cloud Workshop with Charles Bennett from SAP Global Channels and the owners of Birchman Consulting, to build the base of this new business.
We asked them to do some prework (see some videos to have the basis), and we defined the agenda
It was a very profitable workshop, where we presented what are the key ingredients to succeed in the cloud and then, we defined the current and future Birchman business using Business Canvas and defining their value proposition.
They discovered how difficult is create their own value proposition. Not SAP value proposition, but their own value proposition that differentiates them from other SAP partners.
This was the starting point of a long journey that has still not arrived to its end. But it was the trigger they needed.
Birchman team continued working and thinking about this, and they decided to start with ERP Cloud. They decided to focus in S/4HANA Cloud (that landed in Spain May 2017), so they did all the training for sales, presales and support and they also worked with Local Marketing in Spain to be able to spread their value proposition to the market, in a digital way.
Some results of this journey that started some months ago is that Birchman is implementing the first S/4HANA Cloud deal (direct) in Spain, and they signed two additional indirect NNN with S/4HANA Cloud in Q4
If I should summarize the lessons learned, I would highlight:
• Build a trusted relationship with the partner. This was key: first, they ask me help during the QBR since they saw they didn’t have pipeline neither potential to achieve their on-premise figures. Second, during the sessions and workshops they shared all their thoughts and internal information since we are ONE TEAM.
• Ensure you, as PBM, understand how cloud works. This is not about solutions, this is about business model
• Use all the regional and global resources we have in SAP. You are not alone.
• Last but not least, and perhaps the most important one: always put yourself in your partner’s shoes. This will let you know understand their business and create a trusted relationship.
I hope you found this case interesting. Please do not hesitate to contact with me in you want to know more details.