Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDS), or SAP Best Practices in a nutshell. What is the deciding factor in the selection of predefined solution? What are its advantages and who are popular “RDSs” made for?
Prior to a launch of an ERP-class system many customers ask themselves “How unique is my business with regards to global industry best practices?” Quite a chunk of this group will naturally gravitate towards the theory of uniqueness of a given company. Experience, however, tells a different story. As early as at the preliminary stage of the ERP system implementation process, i.e. while determining the scope of the project, it frequently turns out that all processes thought by the customer to be unique, can actually be reduced to a global, well-established template.
The cost of implementation is another factor supporting the choice of a predefined system. The very same customer, when facing the ERP-class system choice, often asks themselves if they can actually afford a fully ASAP-methodology supported implementation, i.e. business concept, configuration, tests and other implementation process elements.
These two factors determine the choice of preconfigured solutions, namely:
- “Is my business unique from the process management perspective?”
- “Can I afford a large ERP-class system?”
Concept for RDS
In the age of European and global economic crisis, the German SAP organisation saw potential in predefined system sales and the implementation market. It shifted the focus to the promotion of these solutions as a cheaper alternative to a full implementation – costly and time-consuming.
Predefined solutions are also great products for small companies with great development prospects, yet have financial conditions restricting their ability to fund large implementations.
RDS in practice
What is the preconfigured system? It is a standard SAP system with a predefined set of configurations that allows for the management of business process in a standardised way. What is means in practice is the description of the process in precisely defined steps.
For instance: if the company is about to purchase materials, usually it involves a set of standard steps following one another: the system generates a MRP-based nomination, which in turn is converted into an order, which is used to receive stock in the warehouse, and the whole process ends with invoicing.
System for everyone
This standardised process approach may be sufficient for the majority of companies that decide to implement an ERP-class system. SAP’s predefined solution allows for the definition of an organisational structure compliant with a given business, and for the uploading of preconfigured process scenarios.
The SAP portfolio also includes ready-to-run solutions in mind, featuring specific settings required by a given branch of industry, such as pharmaceuticals or the fossil fuels trade.
Yay or nay?
Given the fact that solutions that are almost “ready-to-run” already exist, does standard model SAP implementation make any sense? Yes: even if during the implementation it turns out that the system requires customisation, we can use a pre-made basis to show and describe particular processes. It allows for reductions in the implementation time and costs, as well as SAP system adoption as early as at the business concept stage. A basis prepared in this way may become a cornerstone of Agile-method SAP system implementation.
Moreover, predefined system-based project implementation lowers the optimisation entry threshold even for medium-sized companies potentially able to be classified as large ones in a foreseeable future.
RDS, based on fast-paced changes in market conditions, by lowering the advanced business process optimisation entry threshold, becomes a well-established business product.