This post will wrap up our series on the risks and rewards of outsourcing an SAP landscape. Our first post looked at the basic challenges and opportunities associated with managed hosting, while the second post dealt with specifics related to remote administration. Now we will finish the discussion by examining one of the most common, and important, questions surrounding outsourced SAP: How can a prospective managed-hosting customer find a trustworthy provider?
The prospect of signing a long-term contract with a managed-hosting provider can make a client pause, and for good reason. The typical contract length of 3 to 5 years is a long time. It’s essential to find a trustworthy hosting partner. However, trust usually requires time to develop, which can make it seem like the client has to take a risk, namely, choosing an untested provider and hoping that in the future the provider will prove to be a wise choice. Luckily, there are a couple of solutions to this dilemma to help in the trust-building process.
SAP Expertise Critical When Choosing an SAP Full Managed Hosting Partner
When a client looks for a partner to host an ERP system, it’s essential that the provider has deep expertise in the client’s software solution. At itelligence, for instance, our clients benefit from our collective SAP and technology experiences. Through collectively supporting many customers, our hosting team has been able to build vast amounts of SAP experience. In addition, the support organization has the ability to reach out to the greater itelligence organization (consulting, AMS, etc.), thus extending our knowledge base far beyond that of a typical hosting provider. This collective expertise gives our clients two main reassurances: (1) they can feel confident that itelligence has the right skills to support their organization, both today and into the future, and (2) we know how to work the transition process to ensure that operational consistency and Service Level Agreements will be met.
From a long-term perspective, our SAP expertise factors into all of the advantages of our full SAP managed hosting offering, from performance and security to cost-reduction and transparency.
SAP certifications; length of time on the SAP hosting line of business; global reach; and ability to expand business models—all these things help organizations build trust. Knowing that a provider like itelligence has been a certified SAP hosting provider since the late 1990s and continues to be evaluated by SAP every two years—along with our having achieved global-hosting, cloud and AMS certifications—should help build a foundation of trust and dependability.
The Power of References
No matter what ingenious methods hosting providers find to market their products, no marketing tool can outdo the power of a basic customer reference. Prospective clients shouldn’t have to ask for references, as the managed-hosting provider should provide a long track record of success highlighted by companies similar to the client. After reviewing the references, the client should reach out to a few of the references for a conversation. This is a great time for the client to bring up any reservations they might have. Oftentimes, the reference shared the same concerns and can discuss how the hosting provider put the concerns to rest through excellent performance.
Overall, clients looking for an SAP full managed hosting provider should make sure to secure the services of a dedicated team of SAP experts, who have a roster of customer references. Take a long look at certifications, solution-specific experience, and track record. That kind of thorough vetting will shine the light on the most trustworthy SAP managed-hosting providers like itelligence, who remain committed to the SAP product, as well as hosting and managed-services solutions and clients.