SAP Thought Leadership: Service Delivery Innovation – Creating Client Value and Enhancing Profitability


SAP has just released a Though Leadership White Paper on Service Delivery Innovation, which I wrote with Matthew Horenkamp of SAP America. Service Delivery Innovation is an absolutely critical issue for professional firms. Firms’ ability to do this well will undoubtedly be a major factor in determining the winners and losers over the next decade. See the paper for more detail…


SAP White Paper: Service Delivery Innovation

Click here to download the complete Thought Leadership White Paper on Service Delivery Innovation. Executive Summary and Table of Contents below.

Executive Summary

A variety of forces shape the professional services industry – from fierce competition and globalization to the modularization of business processes and technology. Clients want professional services firms to deliver cost-effective services in smaller, fixed-price contracts, but at the same time want to retain highly seasoned professionals equipped to address their most challenging industry-specific process needs.

To succeed in this environment, professional services firms must continually improve their service delivery methods to increase client value and profitability and lower costs. This involves implementing more efficient resourcing and partnering processes, creatively packaging services, and cocreating value with clients. However, for any of these endeavors to work, a firm must have a foundation that supports global processes and workflows that enhance client and supplier collaboration. For the firms that succeed, the rewards are great. They can differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, lock in loyal clients, use internal and external resources more profitably, and improve time to market.

This paper reviews the forces that affect the professional services market today, defines and explains the main pillars of service delivery innovation, and reviews the benefits firms derive from service delivery innovation. It concludes by listing key operating and financial metrics that can measure the value created for firms when they commit their strategies to ongoing service delivery innovation.

Table of Contents

Driving Forces

Increasingly Sophisticated Clients

Intense Competition

Market Globalization

Evolving Technology Architecture

Emergence of Modularization

Convergence of Market Forces

Service Delivery Innovation

Resourcing and Partnering


Cocreating Value

Characteristics of Successful Service Delivery Innovation

A Networked Organization

Flexible Workflows

Global Sourcing

Client and Supplier Collaboration

Continuous Innovation

Enabling Technology

Benefits of Service Delivery Innovation