This is part one of a two part series on customer experiences with SAP’s Business ByDesign. 2 years in the making; Business ByDesign (BBD) is currently on Feature Pack 1.11 (Feature Pack 2.0 is due to be released soon) and there are approximately 100 customers live in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.
During the recent Sapphire 09 conference in Orlando, I had opportunity to meet with SAP Business ByDesign Senior executives in addition to a number of Business ByDesign Charter Customers.
One of the more recent Charter Customers is OneVision Solutions; headquartered in Irving, Texas. OneVision Solutions specializes in the consultation, sales, and implementation of advanced videoconferencing communication solutions, training and services. OneVision Solution’s revenue has increased exponentially since its inception in 2004 and the company is expanding rapidly into new territories and markets across the United States.
OneVision Solutions CFO Brent Walters discussed his firms reasons for selecting SAP’s Business ByDesign and his experience to date with utilizing an On Demand ERP solution:
OnDemand Beat – “What other integrated On Demand Financial Suites did OneVision explore before selecting Business ByDesign”
Brent Walters – “We didn’t have any other On Demand Financial Suites on the table, only an on premise ERP solution, which would have worked and provided the majority of our requirements, however, fell short on cost, maintenance, flexibility, reporting, etc….”
OnDemand Beat – “Was the evaluation process the same as for a traditional packaged ERP solution (with on site visits and mapping of functionality from the legacy system to the new system) or was the process more streamlined for Business ByDesign?”
Brent Walters– “Pre-sales with BBD went very smoothly and was a very collaborative approach between OneVision Solutions and the Business Solutions Manager. I think it was very beneficial to have the BBD Project Manager involved from day one, that way the direction of the solution was known by all of the key players.”
OnDemand Beat – “How long did it take for OneVision to implement Business ByDesign?”
Brent Walters – We did a 60% full ERP solution in 2 months, which required approximately 25 to 50% of my time and one other employee of OneVision Solutions, so we were still able to run the day to day operations.”
OnDemand Beat – “At the Sapphire conference you mentioned that OneVision has saved 35% on implementation and hardware costs and projects 45% annual savings on annual maintenance and labor costs using Business ByDesign versus packaged ERP. As your usage of Business ByDesign increases over time do you anticipate your firms annual savings will increase to more than 45%?”
Brent Walters– ” Most definitely, simply because the packaged ERP option was for 4 licenses or 8 concurrent users, with BBD, we have 25 licenses, so when we bring all of the sales staff into BBD we have the capacity with no additional cost, compared to having to purchase additional licenses for the packaged ERP. Also, once we roll out the sales functionality to the sales staff, we will terminate our contract with SalesForce.com, therefore, providing additional savings to the bottom line.”
OnDemand Beat – “What core features of Business ByDesign is OneVision using at this point?”
Brent Walters– “We are currently using CRM (50% for sales), FIN (100% for financials), SRM (100% for purchasing) and HRM (50% for Human Resources). Once we convert over to Feature Pack 2.0 in BBD, we will use the SCM for the drop ship functionality and more of the CRM for services.”
OnDemand Beat – “Were there any major extensions that OneVision had to implement to go live with Business ByDesign?”
Brent Walters – “I wouldn’t say that we had any considerable extensions or work around issues, with the exception of implementing our drop ship processes into the current BBD system.”
OnDemand Beat – “How does having an integrated On Demand ERP system improve your close process?”
Brent Walters– ” The close process was pretty much nailed down in our prior system and we have been able to implement our processes with little issues, so we are still closing within 2 to 3 days.”
OnDemand Beat – “Has it been easier with Business ByDesign to create custom reports and if so are those done in house at this point?”
Brent Walters – “There really is no need for “custom reports” since the reporting function is setup in a cube environment, we are able to move information around quite easily and retrieve valuable information from the existing reports.”
OnDemand Beat – “You mentioned that ERP is not a cure all and that there are still a few spreadsheets and workarounds in place at OneVision. What is some of the functionality that OneVision plans to roll out in the future to address the remaining workarounds and spreadsheets?”
Brent Walters – “Once we convert to BBD Feature Pack 2.0, the spreadsheets will go away, because the drop ship functionality will provide the visibility that is currently being done in the offline spreadsheets.”
OnDemand Beat – “What advice would you have for other financial and company executives who are evaluating and implementing On Demand ERP solutions?”
Brent Walters – “Understand your current processes and have a good idea as to where you want to go with an ERP solution, otherwise it is easy to run down a rabbit hole and become boxed in to a solution that won’t work.”