Independent Software Vendors (ISV) are companies that have niche product offerings for a certain industry area.
- ISVs typically have acquired their deep understanding of an industry through years of working in their particular focus areas.
- You would typically find the ISVs to have “champions” and well known industry experts in their area of expertise.
- These ISVs are extremely well known in the industry, and they may enjoy comfortable market share in the particular industry vertical in a certain geography.
So far so good.
With increasing globalization of the customer base, we are witnessing several movements that are making the ISVs to sit up and take action to preserve their market share.
- First of all, the customers themselves are getting acquired by larger companies, and “acquiring” globally recognized names.
- The decision making policies are now getting centralized, and all decisions need to adhere to global standards such as compliance of new software products, interoperability, multi-language and multi-currency support.
- Additionally, the ISVs are seeing increasing competition from the larger and less specialized players who are coming up with specialized offerings to compete head-on with the ISVs.
- Finally, the customers are now less excited about buying “best of breed” applications, and leaning towards solutions from a single product vendor which complies to their global IT standards.
For ISVs, deep functionality is not enough to sell into larger customers who have a certain “gate-criteria” for qualifying all software solutions.SAP is the predominant ERP globally; it is run by a large number of global corporations across Auto, High Tech, CPG, Retail, Pharmaceutical, Oil&Gas etc.
These global corporations have acquired global footprint across Americas, Europe and Asia with distributed IT management teams. For consistent management, most corporations mandate SAP compliance of all software solutions.
For an ISV looking to break-into the SAP customer base (which consists of a significant number of Fortune 1000 companies), it is almost mandatory to demonstrate SAP support. SAP compliance would be one of the earliest concerns to be brought up by the IT during the product evaluation and due diligence phase.
SAP compliance can be achieved through the following two approaches:
- Migration of the product’s important features to the SAP platform: Though this may seem like a more difficult approach, it is not. We have helped customers to rapidly build important features of the product using the SAP NetWeaver platform in a short span of a few weeks. The initial product release is adequate to support the ISV Marketing team to start socializing with the SAP customers.
- Integration of the ISV product with SAP: This is a common approach to integrate the ISV product with the SAP business suite. We typically use SAP PI (SAP XI) middleware platform to provide business process capability and business data conversion between the ISV product and SAP proprietary data formats.
Finally, nothing beats SAP Certification (SAP Powered by NetWeaver – SAP PBNW) ! An SAP certified product or SAP certified integration provides assurance to the customer that the deliverable meets SAP’s quality and data interoperability standards.
How do we do it ? ISVs are understandingly not SAP experts. The best way is to partner with an SAP Services provider who has previous experience in working with ISVs and has completed several such projects. The ISV should not need to learn SAP or get into the nitty-gritty of SAP Certification, all these activities are the responsibility of the SAP services provider.
What would be the effort ? As with any IT project, we need to set the boundaries and scope of work to reach the effort and costs. As a rough estimate, an ISV can achieve their initial goals through a 3 month project with a 3 person team; With capable SAP expertise available offshore, the lower offshore costs should justify an SAP migration project to make it into your engineering and marketing budgets for the next quarter.
Please send us your questions, comments or assistance, and our team would be glad to assist you.
By Sreedhar Babu. (on behalf of SAP Consulting Team)
SAP :: Streamlined
We offer variety of services including SAP ECC ,SAP HR,SAP BW,SAP CRM, SAP SCM,SAP BPM, Business Objects, SAP ABAP Development, SAP BASIS and SAP NetWeaver consulting. We have expertise in providing implementation,development, SAP Migration and SAP support services to SAP customers across diverse industries at a global level.
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