At ConvergentIS we don’t just build apps because it keeps us busy and it’s interesting work. Nor do we build apps just because we love SAP Fiori. Instead, we love what our Fiori apps can do for our customers. Our story always goes back to people, the human side of the equation. SAP improves the way we work through its ability to process and store large amounts of essential business data and helps us analyze it to gain new insights. But regardless of its power and position as the world’s leading ERP platform, the core product wasn’t optimized for the user experience, meaning there needed to be an easier way for users to interact with SAP that considered their unique business challenges.
It was then that our very own Shaun Syvertsen discovered that some customer problems weren’t as business specific as he had first thought. He quickly learned, that even though multiple companies shared the same problems and were looking to simplify SAP for users for fundamental transactions, organizations were tackling the solutions on their own. Companies were each investing their own resources, to build very similar solutions at the core. You might say this was the lightbulb moment. It was clear that it was time for things to be done a little differently.
The Previous Process
In another life, Shaun was an SAP implementation leader for another organization. This meant that he lived through a demo or two that focused on different features of SAP. He was actively looking for a software provider that would help him and his team to perform a specific job more effectively. It was during one such demo that he was promised he could view a very important feature of the new software. A feature that was a requirement, and coincidentally, one of the top reasons they needed a new solution in the first place. When the day of the demo came, the demonstration breezed right over this coveted feature. This forced Shaun to speak up and reiterate the value of this feature. It was to his dismay, that the demo concluded without this feature being demonstrated since they had run out of time.
In the days and months that followed the demonstration, Shaun found himself asking again and again about this feature. As it turned out, this feature was not readily available in the solution they planned to implement. Although this feature had been created before, it was not possible to package this feature and license it to Shaun’s team. The supplier’s account team assured him not to worry. This feature had been created before and could easily be created again. It just wouldn’t be boxed up in a packaged app like Shaun had been led to believe.
This would be treated as a custom build and would “only” cost a million dollars and require another 9 months to complete. And that was having done this before!
A Duplicated Effort
Something didn’t seem right. If this process was so easy to do and had been done before, why would Shaun’s team need to put forth resources to duplicate the efforts of creating a solution that had been created before? One might say Shaun was just a little bit frustrated at this point. Even if their business needed slightly different features, would it not make sense to purchase the existing solution and only put forth resources to tailor it accordingly? The answer that other customers owned the IP rights to the work, didn’t seem like a good enough reason why.
A User-Centric Packaged App
Rather than let this incident get Shaun down, this became the learning experience that gave rise to ConvergentIS (CIS) and the packaged apps just a few years later. To complete service tasks like purchase requisitions, service entry sheets, or time reporting were pretty similar tasks between organizations. So why not have an application that could be tested and deployed quickly rather than waiting for it to be redeveloped?
It’s true this didn’t align with larger companies that derive their revenue from total billable hours. But it did say something about the number of organizations that could help solve a problem. Rather than devoting resources to create similar custom solutions for five organizations with big budgets, the CIS team decided they’d rather provide a packaged service at a tenth of the cost for many businesses. This way they could continue to spend their time doing what they do best: creating, innovating, and building new features that could then be deployed for all the businesses that shared the solution.
We recognize businesses still face challenges that are unique to their own business and the way they do things. That’s why if after a quick scroll through our app catalog, you’ll notice that a solution does not exist, you don’t need to fear a million-dollar price tag. The CIS team can is happy to co-innovate in creating solutions to problems that many customers likely have, at a fraction of the cost of a one-off custom solution.
We know you probably still have questions about our current offerings or even opportunities to co-innovate with our team. Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. Ask away!