Case Study: A Leading Systems Integrator Partners with Baer to Find Highly Specialized, Surge Capacity Expertise for Technology Transformation for National Jewelry Retailer

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The Baer Editorial Board
2 June 2023

This leading technology strategy and consulting company has hundreds of thousands of employees who guide massive, multinational enterprises technology infrastructure transformation initiatives. They offer a broad range of strategic and tactical services, including systems integration, which entails bringing together multiple technology systems into a cohesive platform to power critical IT and business operations. The company was hired by the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry to lead the modernization of their technology infrastructure applications, including completely reimagining the omnichannel customer experience. This effort entailed decommissioning IBM Sterling, implementing SAP Hybris in its place, and consolidating multiple back-end ERP solutions acquired through M&A activity to SAP S/4HANA.

The Challenge: Accessing Highly Specialized Expertise in a Competitive Labor Market

At the project’s inception, expertise for both SAP S/4HANA and Hybris was in high demand. While the systems integrator’s (SI) internal staff would lead the initiative, high demand meant they did not have the internal resources available to fully staff the project. As a result, they would have to look outside their organization for specialized expertise who would integrate as a seamless extension to the existing team. What they were ultimately seeking was an enterprise performance partner who could serve as a single, centralized resource and provide surge capacity for a diverse set of SAP-related skills, as well as for skills related to the legacy systems.

Timing was critical. The partner needed to understand the strategy behind the initiative and the technical skillsets that would be required throughout the project, so no time was wasted getting them up to speed. They also needed to have access to a large, readily available, specialized labor pool and to hire with precision which would streamline the interview process and increase the client acceptance rate. Any staff sourced from outside their company needed to be in keeping with their high standard for strategic and technical skills, accountability, and long-term commitment to the program. Lastly, economics was also a factor since the SI was working within an overall project budget.

The Solution: A Single, Centralized Enterprise Performance Partner with a Precision Approach

The systems integrator had a long-standing relationship with Baer and had previously relied on them to source highly specialized expertise for high-profile enterprise technology transformation initiatives. Throughout the years they have worked together, the two companies have built a high-trust relationship. Based on this relationship, as well as Baer’s long track record of success, the systems integrator was confident they could rely on Baer to provide the right supplemental resources they needed to ensure the initiative’s success, at the right time, for the appropriate investment.

As a trusted SAP Gold service partner, Baer provided ongoing, comprehensive resource services over the lifecycle of the project. Using a precision approach, they leveraged their extensive pool of talent with expertise in SAP S/4HANA, SAP Hybris, and the legacy solutions to provide a total of 14 resources over the course of seven years. The staff Baer provided brought experience in SAP S/4HANA, SAP FICO, SAP BPC, SAP Hybris, and contributed key areas including architecting the solution, defining data migration strategies, developing workflow and interface integration logic, and front-end UI customizations, among others.

In addition, the systems integrator currently maintains two Baer resources on staff at the jewelry retailer to support ongoing development and maintenance of the Hybris solution.

The Results: Fast Access to the Right Expertise Drives Enterprise Performance

Despite the competitive labor market, Baer was able to deliver highly specialized technical resources in a timely manner that was aligned with the economics of the program. Their precision approach to finding the right expertise and cultural fit minimized the number of interviews, increased client acceptance, and accelerated time to value. Ultimately, the expertise sourced by Baer played a key role in ensuring the systems integrator was able to fully staff the initiative and successfully migrate to the new solutions, so the customer could begin realizing the benefits of a dynamic, omnichannel customer experience platform designed to delight customers and accelerate sales.

By choosing Baer as their enterprise resource partner for migrations from legacy tools to SAP S/4Hana and SAP Hybris, both the systems integrator and the jewelry retailer realized significant benefits, including:

  • Fast access to highly specialized expertise from a single, trusted source – The SI was able to quickly access all the highly specialized expertise they needed from Baer’s talent pool, without having to work with multiple vendors. This minimized complexity, streamlined the interview cycle, and increased client acceptance, so the initiative could get underway faster.
  • Staffing continuity, and accountability – Because of Baer’s precision approach to identifying the right talent, they were a good fit both technically and culturally, resulting in high stability continuity, and accountability throughout the initiative, with no attrition. In addition, the SI maintains two Baer resources on staff at the jewelry retailer to support ongoing development and maintenance of the Hybris solution.
  • Cost effectiveness – By choosing Baer as their enterprise resource partner, the SI was able to access a broad range of highly specialized expertise in a way that was aligned with the economics of the program. Since there was no attrition throughout the initiative, the SI did not have to rehire, which is a common additional expense and can result in costly delays.
  • Faster time to value – Because Baer has a deep understanding of the technologies and related skill sets, they can and do proactively identify and pre-qualify resources with in-demand expertise. This approach minimized search time and the number of interview cycles and increased the rate of customer acceptance, which meant the SI could start—and complete—the initiative more quickly, so their customer could begin realizing return on investment in their new enterprise technologies.

Going Above and Beyond: Proven SAP Hybris Experience Delivers Best Practices and Scalability

The SAP Hybris omnichannel solution is highly complex and must be tailored specifically to the product sets and pricing and promotional strategies of each client. No two implementations are alike—a fully optimized solution is dependent on technical performance considerations related to the interface architecture that is deployed. Through Baer, the SI was able to add talent to their team with proven Hybris architecture experience that brought best practices to the table. This, in turn, ensured the SI could deliver a fully optimized solution to their client and supported long-term scalability of the technology.

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