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Hotline for retailers wanted

I am a new retailer and I miss a universal hotline. In the case of such complex products as B1, there are always questions, because sometimes you are at an end customer who has special requirements in the fields of CRM, production and financial accounting. Sometimes there are also questions which no other customer had before. Then you need an (affordable) expert team, which can help quickly and uncomplicated. Is there already something like this or would it make sense that several retailers build such a team together?

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5 Answers

  • Jun 14, 2017 at 07:03 PM

    Hi Johan,

    Thank you very much for your detailed answer.

    I have heard this opinion from many other SAP consultants. But only from SAP consultants. Other ERP manufacturers which I know - I know not all, but many - solve the problem differently and are from my point of view more efficient and modern. I have been a consultant for over 28 years (Sage, KHK, G + S, Cobra, SL, Windream, Everest, and many others). With each of these manufacturers I could call and consult a product expert. It is certainly also a good idea to train your own product specialists, but these are hard to find - at least in my region - and are even more difficult to pay, and sometimes they have holidays or are sick. There may be bigger and older dealers for whom this topic is not relevant. I think, however, that SAP will have to win new and smaller traders in the future in order not to lose the connection. I am sure that these dealers will have exactly the same problem like me. For these dealers, I would like to share resources together.

    Kind regards
    Michael

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  • Jun 14, 2017 at 12:11 PM

    Hi Michael,

    A B1 retailer should usually have at least a technical consultant and preferably also a B1-accounting specialist on the payroll. Even if only the salesperson goes to visit the customer, should they be able to reach such colleagues. If the question put to the salesperson cannot be answered on the spot by your own consultant / accountant, it can also not be answered on the spot by any hotline consultant.

    A technical consultant should understand the working principles of B1, meaning not merely know what button is where, and thus should be able to cover all but the most complex scenarios with B1's out of the box functionality. A little knowledge of what sort of commercial third party addons are out there should take care of the rest. Even so, even an experienced consultant will have to do some research and testing to figure out the more challenging questions and scenarios, and would not necessarily be able to answer a difficult question right then and there. I have personally (as a consultant) more than once researched and tested a possible solution on the spot, while our sales person kept the conversation going with the customer.

    I would put to you that the better alternative would be for the salesperson to be prepared to tell a customer something along the lines of "I am sure that it is possible, but let me check with our tech guy, and I'll get back to you".

    That said, when I started as a B1 technical consultant in 2003, there was some talk about a bunch of British B1 retailers setting up a joint support team, but I have no idea if that was ever realized. As I remember though that idea was meant more as a support line for B1 customers.

    Anyway, organizing a joint hotline for B1 salespeople to call, might be a good idea, but might be limited on the accounting side by localization.

    Regards,

    Johan

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  • Jun 15, 2017 at 05:33 PM

    Hi Johan,

    thank you for so much Information. Sometimes it is very important to get some background Infos from the Insiders.

    >>> P.S. You could also consider trying to make a deal with one of the larger SAP Partners, one with a little more manpower, and purchase technical support from them.

    ...yes, that 's exactly that, what I want to aim with this post. To get in contact with other Partners to share the resources.

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    • Hi Michael,

      I recommend that you repeat your idea on LinkedIn. In my experience, a lot more of the non-consultant people from SAP Partners can be reached there. There is a SAP Business One group there, that should allow you to reach just about all the major SAP Partners (that offer B1).

      Regards,

      Johan

  • Jun 15, 2017 at 06:37 AM

    Hi Michael,

    The problem is that when SAP bought the Business One product (by buying Top Manage), they decided that due to the size and character of the SMB market, they would not sell or support B1 directly, but instead through a partner network. Because B1 wasn't selling in the early years, SAP adopted a more and more hands-off approach to support. SAP's own implementation of your idea, is exactly this forum, the SCN.

    All that means that a more direct solution, like a hotline, will have to be set up by a cooperation of SAP Partners, and although SAP [your localization here] might be enticed to mediate, my guess is that by bringing this idea up, made you the defacto organizer of said cooperation. :-)

    Anyway, I certainly see your point, and the merits of a joint technical support organization, and I suspect that there would be quite a few other SAP Partners (retailers) interested.

    Regards,

    Johan

    P.S. You could also consider trying to make a deal with one of the larger SAP Partners, one with a little more manpower, and purchase technical support from them. I would think that they might be interested in covering their own costs in such a way.

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  • Jun 18, 2017 at 06:54 PM

    Very good idea. I will try it.

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