The SAP Business One strategy has always been about providing a core application with a broad functional scope and allowing the development of additional solutions that extend the functionality to meet a specific customer need or a specific industry requirement.
When you ae building a volume product, this makes sense in my humble opinion and allows for a rich ecosystem to develop around meeting specific customer, industry and even localised needs whilst maintaining a strong, robust and flexible core that is easier to maintain and easier to develop.
In all honesty this is not a strategy thats new or exclusive to SAP, most other ERP Vendors take the same approach, just the execution varies from vendor to vendor.
But I have a pet hate with this approach and it is around the way that SAP (and partners) talk about these solution extensions – we call them AddOns and in all honesty I have always hated that term as it implies that the developer “forgot” some functionality that has been added on – and in our case thats not the situation – it’s a deliberate product design and solution management decision.
So, I have started my own personal push to try to encourage the use of the expression Complementary Solutions because thats exactly what they are – a definition of the word complementary is – “Combining in such a way as to enhance or emphasize each other’s qualities” and thats exactly what these solutions do.
So maybe next time you are explaining the SAP Business One solution and you are talking about the these extensions that add additional functionality – try using the words “complementary solutions” instead of AddOns and explain how the solutions complement the core SAP Business One application.
I guarantee your potential customers will find it easier to understand why we have taken this approach.
PS Please don’t confuse complementary with complimentary (which in basic terms means free) unless of course your complementary solutions are complimentary.