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Choosing your SAP Commerce Cloud (Hybris) partner

Brendan Korten

Today, with Covid-19, online purchases and customer experiences are more important than ever. Right now, commerce platforms are important to establish long-term customer relationships. But what must a good platform meet and more importantly, how do you set this up and based on which points do you choose the right partner to help you with the implementation and add value to your business?

Choosing your SAP Commerce Cloud (Hybris) partner is the most important part of your implementation. Why? There are lots of different products within the platform – commerce, marketing, billing sales, service and customer data management – and understanding how to get them working successfully together isn’t straightforward. Whether you’re at the early stages of an implementation project and need help with identifying, buying and building an SAP solution, or you’re already past that point and need service and support, if you’re wondering how to choose a Hybris consulting partner, here are the key points to think about…

Clear the mission and the missing gap

The first step is to think about how a consulting partner can add value to your business. What are the gaps in your existing team, and what do you hope to gain? Whether you value independent oversight, proprietary methodologies or breadth of experience the most, agreeing your goals first will set you on the right path.

Try to hit the sweet spot

The chances are that you’ll need help in more than one area. How much of what you need can your prospective consulting partners cover off? You’re likely to benefit from advice on everything from resilience, security and compliance and performance, to creative UX/UI insights and support. If you can find a partner with expertise across creative, consulting, implementation and run, you’ve hit the sweet spot. You’ll save time by investing in just one working relationship, and there’s the added benefit of a fully integrated approach to optimize outcomes.

Involve the partner early

Specialist consulting partners are often on high demand and you may find that, regardless of ticking all the boxes, your first- choice partner is unavailable to start when you need them. That gives you two choices with a new implementation – delay, or find someone else. To avoid having your hands tied, start looking for your partner as early as possible, rather than waiting for problems to emerge that need immediate attention. You may need to be prepared to compromise on some of your criteria to get a consultant at the right time, so consider ranking the points on your wish list in order of importance before you start your search.

SAP expertise

To state the obvious, you want a consultant that specializes in SAP. That narrows down the field, so don’t be surprised if there aren’t a huge number of candidates to choose from in your location. Contact SAP for accredited partners. Take a look at your preferred consultants’ methodology and what it has delivered for others. You want a bespoke solution that will fit your business’s unique needs – do you feel confident that your prospective partner will listen and adapt their solution to deliver a successful Hybris strategy?

Look for relevant experience in your industry

You’ll find it most useful to have access to a consulting partner who understands your industry and has already overseen implementations with similar companies. That’s not to say that you can’t consider others, but look for transferable knowledge gained in comparable industries if you need to widen the search.

Choose a partner used to working with your size of business

Whether you’re a global enterprise or a SME, a partner who is used to work with businesses of a similar size to your own will be an asset. They will best understand both the technical and organizational challenges you’re facing. Including how resistance to change can manifest itself, speed of decision making and the complexities of getting management buy-in.

Identify the right product expertise

Which products are you implementing within SAP Commerce Cloud? You’ll need to find a partner who has the relevant domain subject expertise – that means they’re a subject matter expert or domain expert.
The SAP suite is so extensive that there are many possibilities, but let us advise you on the right solution for your company.

Work with people you like, yes, we’re great fun 😉

Don’t overlook that almost intangible chemistry that will help your project to run smoothly. You should be looking for a partner who has your best interests at heart and can say ‘no’ when necessary, while maintaining a healthy and productive relationship. Your project may span a number of months or even years, so you need to make sure that you’re comfortable with the people you’ll be dealing with – after all, they may be around for longer than some of your employees.

Seek out peer recommendations

Do the consultants on your shortlist have testimonials from previous clients? Can they supply relevant references? Think about the qualities that will make a consulting partner a good fit for your organization, down to the individual consultants who would be working on your project. Have a look around online to see what the general consensus is amongst former clients, and track down informal feedback if you can.

If you’re ready to start your search for a SAP Commerce Cloud consulting partner, Acorel  is here to help with both new implementations and SAP CX support. Why not arrange a free demo or contact us to evaluate your needs?

Brendan Korten