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Understanding the Competency Framework for Selecting a SAP Partner

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Businesses today face an incredible amount of pressure to implement successful digital transformation journeys. It’s no secret that companies developing the capabilities to improve customer satisfaction and performance while reducing operating costs now are more likely to thrive tomorrow.

But if your organisation doesn’t have a strong foundation to support an enduring digital transformation, your efforts won’t deliver lasting value. 

The reality is that enterprise-wide transformation is challenging. And less than one-third of projects don’t achieve their goals. That’s why it’s vital to find the right technology company to serve as your trusted advisor. 

SAP has created a framework to help customers select the best-fit SAP partner for their needs. The 0Competency Framework streamlines the assessment process so you can engage with the expertise and knowledge that will enable you to become an intelligent enterprise. 

In this article, we’ll unpack how the Competency Framework can be used to assess SAP partners and what your company stands to gain. 

What is the Competency Framework?

SAP designed the Competency Framework to help customers evaluate SAP partners. It distinguishes partners based on the lines of business they have experience with.

50has in specific areas. 

Instead of sifting through technology companies and spending hours trying to understand a partner’s level of expertise and experience, you can use the Competency Framework to quickly decide whether a specific technology company has the potential to be a good fit for your business transformation. 

How the SAP Competency Framework works

The core of the Competency Framework is a set of competencies and specialisations.

Competencies visually distinguish a partner based on their level of breadth and depth in an SAP solution, line of business, or industry. There are seven competencies:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Human Capital Management
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Spend Management
  • ERP for Small and Midsize Enterprises
  • SAP Business Technology Platform

Specialisations are the building blocks partners acquire to attain a competency designation. They indicate that a partner has demonstrated accomplishments with an SAP product or process. There are 21 specialisations. 

When assessing potential partners, look at the competencies the partners have achieved to decide if they are well-versed in the specific SAP solutions your business needs. 

For example, manufacturing businesses might put SAP partners that have demonstrated proficiency in Supply Chain Management at the top of this list of prospective business transformation partners. 

If your company’s main transformation goals are to boost productivity and empower your talent to gain a competitive advantage, you would look for SAP partners with competency designations for Human Capital Management. 

From there, look at the granular achievements — the specialisations — and the competency tier level to select a partner that has the capabilities you need for a successful project. 

There are three competency tier levels in the SAP Competency Framework:

  • Essential. At this level, you know a partner has the necessary proficiency level and has demonstrated customer success through successful project delivery. The essential competency tier indicates a partner has met the training and delivery requirements for that SAP product or for the process specialisations. 
  • Advanced. SAP partners with an advanced competency designation have more certified consultants on staff and have delivered a higher number of successful projects. 
  • Expert. This designation indicates the partner has the ability to help you achieve an end-to-end transformation. The partner has proven their high-level expertise by developing unique solution capabilities in the competency area.

Discovery Consulting has attained the Expert competency designation for Human Capital Management with specialisations for the following:

  • Compensation and Commission
  • Core HR and Payroll
  • Learning 
  • Talent Management

We also have essential competencies for Enterprise Resource Planning and SAP Business Technology Platforms. 

Assessing SAP partners using the Competency Framework

The new Competency Framework makes it easy to find a best-fit partner to support your digital transformation. To assess your options, use the SAP Partner Finder Tool. You can start by filtering your search by Solution, Industry, Location, or Partner Name.

Once you’ve entered your search, you’ll see a list of service cards for various SAP partners. From there, here are the steps you can take:

1. Click on a partner’s services card. This card lists the technology company and the number of competencies. 

Scroll down the partner’s service page to see:

  • SAP Solutions
  • Competencies & Specialisations
  • Focus Industries

2. Click on the competency icon to learn more about the partner’s accomplishments. Here’s what the competency card for Discovery Consulting looks like:

You can view information on the:

  • Competency tier level
  • Associated specialties
  • The number of delivered projects within the past two years
  • Location and industries of successful projects

When evaluating the service cards, your goal is to find a good match for your company’s unique digital transformation needs. So you want to look for an SAP partner that has experience delivering projects for the SAP solutions, industry, and lines of business that apply to your project. 

You should also consider location. A partner that has customer success experience in your country will understand the localisation requirements, best practices, and regulations that apply. 

And finally, look for the number of certified consultants. A higher number of consultants implies that the partner has a high level of knowledge regarding the technologies that matter to you. 

After going through the Competency Framework data and finding a partner that has the knowledge, customer success track record, and proficiency that matches your project needs, set up a consultation.

Even with proven expertise and professional validation, it’s still important to have an honest discussion with a potential partner to find out if they share your business values and are committed to building a long-term relationship with your business. 

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Benefits of using the Competency Framework

The Competency Framework enables you to find a partner that understands your technology needs and your industry. You’ll save time when searching for an SAP partner because you have the information you need to make a decision at your fingertips. 

But even more helpful, you’ll get more value out of your business transformation. With a best-fit SAP partner, you can implement tailored solutions that perfectly suit your technology needs today and are ready to adapt to the future. 


Selecting the right SAP partner is the first and most critical step on your digital transformation journey. In the past, connecting with a best-fit company was difficult because SAP customers didn’t have the objective information needed to make an informed decision. 

The Competency Framework has solved this problem, enabling you to select the right partner in less time and ensuring you get the foundational support you need to become an intelligent enterprise.

Use the Competency Framework when selecting your SAP partner and take the first step on your path to a successful business transformation.

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