Software AG broadens consulting with IDS Scheer

WASHINGTON, D.C.—One thing that has changed as a result of Software AG’s acquisition of IDS Scheer AG is more customers have shown interest in end-to-end transformation projects, said an executive board member who leads Software AG’s global professional services business.

The company has won 10 “very large” projects in the last six months, Ivo Totev told ComputerWorld Canada at ProcessWorld 2010. “We start to see the fruits of this acquisition,” said Totev.VIDEO: In Conversation: dissecting ProcessWorld 2010

One of the 10 large customer wins is a Canadian-based financial institution Totev could not yet name. (The financial services and government sectors are the most prominent for Software AG’s consulting business in Canada, said Totev.)

Software AG announced it would buy IDS Scheer in July 2009. One of the attractions to IDS Scheer was the company’s battalion of 2,000 or so professional services consultants with expertise in different verticals, said Totev. “All this fits very well together,” he said.

The company is now able to provide customers with a service that spans from start to finish — process documentation expertise from IDS Scheer to the technical expertise of Software AG. “The worst thing that can happen is a management consultant that delivers all the documentation to you and leaves you alone with it, and then you get to the other partner who then starts the implementation,” said Totev. Day 1 coverage: Software AG, IDS Scheer execs give merger update  

It’s not that either company’s consultants were not offering a “tangible direction” to customers before the acquisition, said Totev. It’s more a case of it being difficult to plan where things are going if they aren’t present till the end of the process.

Post-acquisition, the minimum learning curve for both companies’ consulting teams has been getting to know each other in what is now a “mixed” team, said Totev.

Overall, globally, Totev expects the next 12 to 18 months will witness a double-digit percentage growth in Software AG’s professional services business, given the now broader vertical specialization.

With “critical mass,” Totev said the company can now start building out centres of excellence such as in retail.

The business process management (BPM) group at pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc., an IDS Scheer customer and SAP shop, is focused on supply chain operations. Debra Boykin, director of business process excellence for business systems and processes at Pfizer, told ComputerWorld Canada she would like to see her company branch out its BPM initiative, still in proof-of-concept, to areas like research and development, sales and marketing and human resources—wherever there is SAP.

“It’s my hope that we can truly support all the domains,” said Boykin. The company is using the ARIS platform.

As for how the Software AG-IDS Scheer merger and changes to its professional services affects Pfizer, Boykin said she hasn’t really leveraged the consulting services from IDS Scheer given her “rich” background in the toolset.

However, the company is deploying SAP to its markets and plants division, where IBM Corp. has been chosen as the systems integrator. Boykin sees this as an opportunity to use consulting services from the new company. “We are chatting with IDS Scheer to supplement that,” said Boykin.

She said she sees value in the merger of Software AG and IDS Scheer offering that end-to-end expertise to customers.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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