Technologies & Products

SAP delivery at hyperspace speeds

Warning: stop reading this now if you don’t like Star Wars.

I recently stumbled on the eBay market for ‘retro’ children’s toys from the seventies and eighties that got me reminiscing about my own childhood again.

I am talking about things like Pocket Simon. Old Roy of the Rover comics. Spectrum 48Ks. And the absolute pièce de résistance for many people born in the 1970’s – the little plastic figures from the original Star War films.

Some of you reading this will know exactly what I am talking about. Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett. The Princess Leia with the little hat when she was in the forest in ROTJ. The Emperor’s Guard with the red cloth cloak. Darth Vader in his black plastic cloth, and the little lightsaber that you could flick out with your fingernail.

My jaw nearly hit the ground when I saw how much these Star Wars figures are now selling for on eBay. The same figures which cost around 2 pounds back in the early eighties are now selling for between 10 and 20 pounds. The ones still in their original boxes were selling for hundreds, and in some case even thousands of pounds.

Yes, a little plastic figure bought for 2 pounds thirty-odd years ago is now worth several thousand pounds.

Yes, some people back around 1977 had the foresight to realise they might have great value in the future, and the self-control to store them away in a dark place for thirty-odd years.

I also quickly discovered that there is a big market for ‘graded’ loose figures on eBay. There are a couple of ‘official’ companies in the US and in the UK where you can send your figures, and they will give them a % score based on the present condition of the figure.

Basically what these two companies do is put the figure in a plastic box, apply an official sticker that indicates what grading they have given the figure (ranging from 100% for a pristine mint condition figure down to presumably 0% if the figure’s head got bitten off by the dog at some point in the last thirty years) and then charge you for the privilege.

Needless to say, I was not particularly impressed when I asked my mum if she still had all my own Star Wars figures in her loft up and was told that they had been sold at a car boot sale circa 1995.

That said, it did get me thinking about the parallel between Star Wars figures and ActiveControl.

Back in the late nineties (in a galaxy far far away)(sorry) when ActiveControl, or Transport Express as it was then known, was initially developed and taken to the market, a few SAP customers immediately saw the benefits of the tool and bought it.

Lightening fast SAP delivery speed

Over the last fifteen years, more and more SAP-run companies have realised the value of having ActiveControl (and indeed the cost of not using it) and have also purchased Basis Technologies’ DevOps platform.

This past six months, Basis Technologies had to recruit two more consultants to cope with the influx of SAP customers now wanting to use the tool.

Amongst these newer customers is one that sticks out particularly for me, as they actually started looking at ActiveControl not long after I joined Basis Technologies.

Let’s call them Customer A.

Customer A spent a lot of time deliberating whether ActiveControl offered them any real benefits over their existing processes and tools. When I say a lot of time, I am talking about almost 1.5 years. Customer A only just signed up for ActiveControl this month.

By the time they go live with the software in a couple months – it will have taken them almost 2 years from when they started their internal vendor/product selection process to getting to the point where they begin using TE to manage their SAP change.

In the meantime, Customer A’s biggest competitor (Customer B) took three months to choose, purchase and implement with ActiveControl. They did this almost two years ago to the day.

Customer A is currently delivering six monthly releases.

Customer B has been delivering monthly releases to their business (for the past two years) and has therefore been able to react a lot quicker to ever-changing market conditions. For the past two years.

The moral of this story is simple.

1. Don’t open your toys because they will be worth a lot more in thirty or forty years’ time.

2. Don’t wait thirty or forty years (or even two) to make the decision to implement ActiveControl. There is a strong possibility competitors already have and are reaping its benefits.

Book your DevOps toolset free trial now, and see how you can get your SAP delivery speed into hyperspace.

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