First of all, I have a very superficial knowledge of SAP SD. According to my understanding, they provide a number of industry specific solutions. The concept seems very interesting and I work on something similar for banking industry. The biggest challenge we face is how to adapt our products for different clients. Many concepts are quite similar across enterprises, but there are always some client-specific requirements that have to be resolved through configuration and customization. Often this requires reimplementing and developing customer specific features.
I wonder how efficient in this sense SAP products are. How much effort has to be spent in order to adapt the product so it satisfies specific customer needs? What are the mechanisms used (configuration, programming etc)? How would this compare to developing custom solution from scratch? Are they capable of leveraging and promoting best practices?
Both standard and industry-specific SAP solutions are very flexible when it comes to customization and enhancements. This is why SAP is a market leader in the domain of ERP applications for large enterprises.