If you keep an eye on buzzwords in the SAP world, I am pretty sure that you already crossed path with the RDS acronym – somewhere between “HANA” and “Mobility”. RDS stands for “Rapid-Deployment Solutions”. OK so far. But what is it about – and why is there such a hype ?
In a nutshell, Rapid-Deployment Solutions are packaged solutions based on SAP products, with a clearly delineated scope, quick to implement and offered at a fix price. Those of you who have been in the SAP business for a while won’t be impressed by such a pitch – “that’s not very different from an All-in-One package?”
But let’s dig a bit deeper. Why should we (customers, partners) take a closer look at RDS?
Fasten the time-to-value
Let’s take a fictitious customer. CORPOTECH is an Industrial Machinery Component provider operating in France and UK. CORPOTECH encompasses four different Business Units. CORPOTECH runs SAP ECC as a back-end tool for 5 years. Mr. Smith is CORPOTECH’s CIO. For one of its Business Units, CORPOTECH is looking for an affordable tool to monitor sales forecasts. Mr. Smith has two constraints. Constraint n°1 is the budget. Constraint n°2 is that the future tool should integrate smoothly into its Core SAP solution.
Mr. Smith is well informed. He is a regular reader of IT newsletters. He hears every day that the market is demanding more agile solutions. He also expects faster to consume applications In other words, he requires faster time-to-value.
How can RDS help Mr. Smith meet his objective?
Well, all RDS-qualified solutions have limited and well delineated scope. The rationale is simple: use RDS to “jump start” on a pragmatic scope, then go live, and allow yourself the possibility to extend your scope later — if required. This can apply to many topics, like sales forecasting for instance.
There is also the promise for a rapid delivery: some RDS offerings can be implemented in less than twelve weeks.
In addition to that, RDS are delivered by experienced partners within the SAP Ecosystem. Each RDS offer must also pass successfully an internal SAP qualification process. This is also a reassuring point.
As SAP heavily pushes for RDS, the offering gets wider. 50 RDS “foundation packages” are already available, which partners can use to build new offers. SAP Transportation Management, Hana, Mobility … are as such available in RDS “format”.
The “price to pay” as a customer is that you have to accept a lower degree of personalization in a first step. But if this pre-requisite is met, RDS are a real opportunity for companies which want to quickly start a new solution.
Opportunities for partners
Let’s now take the partner point of view. Why should an SAP partner engage into the development of RDS offerings?
As said before, 50 RDS are available. So if you want to jump-start into one of this topic, even to get a first impression, RDS is an option to consider. Some RDS packages address topics for which there is simply no Best practice available!
I see besides two main business reasons why a partner should consider RDS:
- Market potential
- Innovative lead generation approach
The underlying assumption of that section is that there is and will be a growing Line of Business (LoB) influence in the SAP market. I’m not the only one to say it — SAP also supports this view. At such, it provides partners with new licenses and / or services opportunities.
Take a look at the following statistic. 90% of SAP ECC customers use only SAP ERP and do not use another SAP LoB Solution (CRM, HCM, SCM or BAT). LoB-based RDS offerings can help serve your customer in a better and more efficient way.
Innovative lead generation approach
The promotion of the RDS solutions makes an extensive usage of the Ecohub marketplace. Ecohub is basically a shopping mall for SAP-based application, like RDS. The logic is as such:
- Partners have storefronts on the Ecohub for their solutions, including RDS.
- SAP marketing activities publicise the shopping mall to prospects.
Like the Apple App store, ecohub gives world-wide availability and visibility to locally developed solutions. License and / or service opportunities can then be triggered at a global scale.
Demand planning with RDS – an example
Let’s go back to Mr. Smith. He’s still searching for a sales forecast tool in SAP, remember?
Mr. Smith browses the ecohub. He finds out it.compact demand planning and RDS-qualified solution by itelligence France.
Yes, indeed, everything is compact within this solution: the scope, the price, everything … except its name :-). it.compact demand planning has a clear Unique Selling Proposal :
- A limited and well-defined implementation scope: it is focused on sales forecasting with SAP. It covers as such the sales forecast upload (from XL file for instance), generation of the demand plan, simulation features, adjustment, validation and posting back to SAP ECC.
- Fixed price for services,
- Fixed implementation timeline of 3 months.
So … ready to make your next move?
I ’m convinced that RDS offerings can bring unique value to customers.
I also tried to explain that RDS brings a unique opportunity to partners for developing their business.
Take the case of the itelligence Group for instance. At intelligence, we:
- have existing know-how and expertise on Line of Business solutions (SCM, CRM, HCM, BAT),
- are a global player with local presence, all sharing a common DNA for implementing packaged solutions,
- have strong experience and track records in the packaging and qualification of solutions.
That makes us “RDS compatible” for better servicing our customers.
So, dear reader, whether you’re a customer or a partner, why not take a closer look at RDS?