The SAP Customer Engagement Initiative provides you with early insights into new SAP product developments. This is an your opportunity to provide feedback, input and ideas at early stages of development.
Participate in remote or on-site sessions to discuss ideas and see if they fit your requirements
Collaborate with SAP product management to shape new product features.
Build a network with other SAP customers and partners using the same product.
The CEI opens up the SAP development plans so that you can provide feedback as early as possible in the product lifecycle of SAP products. You can join the definition and development of future functionality and even provide input to business cases, so that SAP can decide to develop the right functionality.
Project lists are made available three times a year through a registration page. You can browse through such a list of development projects and before deciding to join a concrete project, you sign-up for a first phone conference to learn about the planned goals, activities and efforts.
Your main benefit is that you get an early insight into SAP’s product plans. And through this early insight, you can influence the direction of the developments so that the right functionality is shipped when made general available. Due to the fact that the exchange takes place on a regular basis, you collaborate very closely with the SAP team. Furthermore, you can network with other customers and partners who have the same interest as the scope of CEI projects is usually rather narrow (e.g. “How to handle electronically bank statements in SAP ERP FIN”).
The activities can differ from project to project and are explained at the beginning of every collaboration. Furthermore, your engagement is discussed on an individual basis depending on your availabilities. Usually, most of the exchange takes place via phone conferences and virtual meetings. In addition, face-to-face meetings at your company’s site or an SAP location can take place. If the collaboration is part of a development project, beta- or pilot shipments are possible, too.
No, you don’t have to. A lot of times, Ramp-Up participation is offered to the CEI participants, but it’s not a must. The same is true for implementing the functionality. So there is no cost involved in joining CEI projects. You only invest the time to provide regular feedback but you gain early knowledge about what’s planned. How long does a project last?
This again depends on the project and will be shared upfront. As a rule of thumb, discussions on concrete functionality along an SAP development project last about 6-9 month. Discussions on a business case usually last 3-6 month.
It’s important to mention that there is no commitment from SAP to ship whatever is discussed. The goal of the collaboration is to get a global view on what should become part of the SAP standard and out of that derive functional requirements. Thus, projects can get stopped e.g. because of the participant’s feedback.