Factors that affect the cost of a SAP Business One implementation

How much does SAP Business One cost to implement? This is a question that we at Bluekey Software Solutions need to answer on a regular basis. The highly experienced Bluekey team, consisting of more than 100 employees, has implemented more than 220 SAP Business One sites in 16 different countries. Whilst there is no set formula to provide you with a 100% accurate price for the implementation of SAP Business One, we can provide you with some information to understand what SAP Business One implementations costs are likely to be and what expenses you can expect to see.


Obviously one has to take into consideration hardware, operating system, support and SAP Business One software license pricing, which you can find more information on here.


The cost of implementing SAP Business One is dependent on many variables: number of branches and companies, number of users, customer internal capabilities and responsibilities, quantity and quality of data, level of integration required, extent of customisation, business rules and workflow requirements, reporting and stationery needs and the amount of training required. Choosing a reputable and experienced SAP Business One partner will ensure that you get a complete solutions configured to your business processes and can significantly reduce your implementation costs. You can assess the complexity, and the implementation costs, for your business by considering:


How many branches/locations will be implementing SAP Business One

Is the implementation for a single branch or head office or are there multiple branches or companies that need SAP Business One implementations? If you have multiple branches or companies, will you require inter-company/branch and data consolidation? SAP Business One offers some great tools to enable quick implementation of additional companies from a master company but you will need to ask yourself – are all your branches or companies configured and set up the same way? You also need to think about what stationery or marketing documents you will need (invoice layouts, remittance advice, etc.) and whether this needs to change for each branch or company.


Geographic location of SAP Business One implementations

Is the SAP Business One implementation going to cover multiple cities or expand into neighbouring countries? If so, there are likely to be different set-ups and configuration requirements based on the different legal and fiscal requirements for each country. Another potential complexity with multiple country support is different language sets. SAP Business One offers support in multiple languages covering multiple legal and fiscal requirements – great for companies that are looking to expand geographically.


Data conversion

Unless your business is a start-up it is highly likely that you will want to convert data from your legacy system. Data conversions are categorised into two broad categories – master data and historical data. SAP Business One provides a Data Transfer Workbench (DTW) which assists with the upload of master data, and enforces data integrity and business rules. There is still some work to be done – export data from your legacy system, check and clean data, import into SAP Business One and reconcile / check data again. From a pricing / implementation point of view, you should consider whether you will be able to extract, clean and validate the data sets internally or whether the consultant will be required to assist with this process. Another question is whether or not there is a requirement to export historical data and whether it needs to be imported in summary or detail format. Summary format might be used to compare the current year’s profit and loss to last years (historical) profit and loss whereas a detailed import of historical data will allow drill down to original “closed” document (for example AR invoice). Historical data is notoriously inaccurate and ‘dirty’ usually requiring substantial effort to transfer to a new system.


SAP Business One reporting requirements

SAP Business One offers many standard reports and Dashboards. Even so it is highly likely that you will want some reports changed or custom written. The number and complexity of reports to be written to your specific requirements will have an impact on the days (and therefore price) to implement SAP Business One. SAP Business One, together with Crystal Reports, delivers compelling reporting functionality and information access to small businesses. You should however seriously consider keeping custom reports to a minimum if you want to reduce implementation time.


SAP Business One user training

How many people need to be trained as SAP Business One users? Will training be on-site or off-site and will site-specific user notes be required? Many companies adopt a “train the trainer” approach where the SAP Business One Partner is responsible for training super users of the customer. These super users then pass down their knowledge and train other users in the team. This approach helps reduce implementation pricing for remote and distributed sites by reducing the amount of training days required.


Business Processes

This is something that sounds obvious but is sometimes overlooked. If your business processes are industry specific and your requirements extend beyond the standard functionality or configurability offered by SAP Business One then extra consultancy, customisation or development will be required. There are also industry-specific solution extensions that reduce the implementation price by eliminating the need to customer development. The suggestion is always to try and keep the initial implementation as simple as possible and add functionality as your business develops.


SAP Business One User skill set

The skill level of users (including accounting, business knowledge and general computer skills) are all factors in determining how long it will take to implement SAP Business One in your business and how long it will take for your SAP Business One users to efficiently adopt the solution.


SAP Business One Project and Change Management

Sound project management, change management and a proven project management methodology is the basis of all successful ERP implementations. It is important to make sure that you have a project manager dedicated to your project, preferably with proven experience in successful SAP Business One implementations. The amount of project management required will vary dependent on the topics discussed above and also what change management/project management resources are available within your business to facilitate the transition.


Based on our analysis of your requirements we provide an estimate of the services and costs you should expect to implement SAP Business One. In the absence of this investigation you can estimate your implementation costs to be between 80% and 140% of your software costs. Bear in mind that if you add users or change the project scope during the implementation process, you should budget for a commensurate increase in implementation costs.