Integrated corporate management systems have become a tool facilitating effective business operations. At the same time, companies intensely seek cost savings, in particular in fields not related to their main area of business. Owing to modern solutions such as outsourcing or application support, they are able to significantly reduce the costs of maintaining a system, and at the same time, expand their capacity.

Another issue which is of significance to companies is expenditure control. While using continuous support, the recipient may count on assistance from a team of consultants(…)

ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems allow for the management of almost every company department — from human resources and remuneration, through inventories, to transport and logistics. At the same time, they require proper SAP administration and servicing. Providers of software that is produced, for example, by SAP offer numerous solutions facilitating the undisturbed functioning of the system and the necessary knowledge base to their customers. The most popular solutions include the application service, covering day-to-day challenges faced by SAP system users as well as applications for changing, expanding and supplementing functionalities.

Another tool is outsourcing, i.e. using external resources owned by subcontractors. In times of economic slowdown and when looking for ways to save costs, companies are not forced to keep costly infrastructure in order to fully benefit from tools that optimize sales processes. They significantly reduce the cost of using the system through maintaining software on servers owned by an external provider.

Application Service – Remote Specialist Support

“Due to their complexity and role in the proper functioning of a company, IT systems require continuous technical support. The major advantage of application support is the possibility to obtain immediate assistance if an operational issue occurs within the system. Exploitation costs can be planned in advance — the service is provided pursuant to a fixed contract with a strictly defined scope of services and a fixed fee.

Another issue which is of significance to companies is expenditure control. While using continuous support, the recipient may count on assistance from a team of consultants within a time limit agreed upon in the contract without any additional costs related to, for example, investing in niche IT competences. Savings may reach even 20 percent annually,” says Agnieszka Werbińska, Service Department Manager at Hicron.

SAP administration & Maintenance — More than just updates

“We have noticed that the majority of companies perceive SAP maintenance exclusively in terms of a cost they need to incur in order to gain access to updates, something that is required from all users of SAP systems. However, SAP maintenance encompasses much more than that,” says Michał Guzek, Managing Partner at Hicron, a provider of IT systems. “Maintenance also gives unlimited access to knowledge and professional support. Customers are able to benefit from training and consultations as well as system efficiency reports, among other resources,” he adds.

As part of SAP maintenance, the developer provides customers with technical support and constant access to system updates. Companies are offered two levels of support: basic (Standard Support) and extended (Enterprise Support). The Standard Support level is cheaper, though companies in need of continuous 24/7 technical support tend to choose the Enterprise level. The case is similar for those that want to enjoy quality assurance support and defined response times for each reported problem. In addition, within the framework of SAP Enterprise Support, companies gain access to the Support Academy with theoretical tutorials, sessions with experts and practical training sessions conducted under the guidance of an online instructor.

“The majority of training sessions refer to the technical aspects of the system and are intended for IT administrators and SAP project managers. However, the entire company benefits from the knowledge acquired by the IT department, as the system functions faster and more effectively, and the number of errors is reduced,” indicates Michał Guzek, Managing Partner at Hicron.

Outsourcing = Savings 

Outsourcing may become a crucial method in achieving cost savings. Specialized outsourcing centers provide companies with a platform enabling them to launch, maintain in operation and continuously monitor the SAP system. While using an outsourcing center, companies reduce the spending connected with investments in expensive equipment or employing qualified specialists.

“The cost of building one’s own server room necessary to maintain the SAP platform amounts to approximately PLN 630 thousand, and the monthly cost of its maintenance equals almost PLN 30 thousand. Outsourcing may contribute to reducing this cost to an average level of PLN 7-8 thousand per month” says Robert Stiller, Sales Director at Hicron.

In addition, maintaining the system on external servers raises its stability — subcontractors take care of its undisrupted operation on an ongoing basis. At the same time, outsourcing contracts provide defined response times to failures and undisrupted functioning of the system.