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A Tour of SAP's Online Service Marketplace

by Eithne Devine | SAPinsider

October 1, 2000

by Eithne Devine, SAP AG SAPinsider - 2000 (Volume 1), October (Issue 2)
 
The mySAP.com Marketplace model supports communities of buyers and sellers in a collaborative business environment. SAP Services is putting this model into practice with the SAP Service Marketplace. Customers here can receive online support and information, receive proposals from vendors, and purchase those solutions online.

With all the attention surrounding mySAP.com, you are probably aware that the mySAP.com Marketplace model supports communities of buyers and sellers in a collaborative business environment. SAP Services now is putting this model into practice in its new marketplace offering - the SAP Service Marketplace (see Figure 1).

     At the Service Marketplace, customers can get online support for their SAP systems, access information from others in the SAP professional community, and download any appropriate solutions available from SAP. From this site - which users can personalize for their own needs - customers can also request and receive proposals from vendors, and then purchase those solutions for their SAP systems.

Figure 1 Homepage of the SAP Service Marketplace at http://service.sap.com

The Service Marketplace offers customers:

  • A central place for information on issues regarding IT solutions for SAP

  • Delivery of high-quality, reliable, complete, and customizable business services around SAP needs

  • Information on bundled or coordinated services, technology, or complete solutions from different vendors

  • The opportunity to find the most suitable partner for a specific service and to use this information to make informed decisions when accessing or purchasing services, online support, and solutions

  • Access to services and solutions from both SAP and SAP partners

The SAP Service Marketplace assists SAP partners in:

  • Expanding business opportunities by representing partners in an online site that is accessed by members of the SAP community worldwide

  • Developing business opportunities through possible joint offerings

  • Accessing the SAP customer base via a marketplace that is clearly targeted to SAP customers

The Service Marketplace is designed to be easy on the eye. As you can see in Figure 1, content is organized to meet specific user needs, and to provide easy access to information and online services. Additionally, the SAP Services Map on the top of the page links you to information on SAP and partner services based on each phase of the SAP product lifecycle. (See Figure 2 for examples of specific offerings within each phase.)

Evaluation

  • IT strategy definition

  • Evaluation and business case consulting

  • Feasibility studies or knowledge transfer

  • Content development

  • SAP Self Services

  • IDES - Online Evaluation

Implementation

  • Implementation consulting

  • Quick Sizer

  • Technical operations and security consulting

  • Knowledge consulting

  • GoingLive Check

  • Remote consulting

Operations and Continuous Improvement

  • EarlyWatch and EarlyWatch Alert

  • Continuous Business Improvement (CBI) consulting

  • SAP Remote Archiving Service

  • SAP Online Correction Support

  • Lifecycle support
Figure 2 Service to Support the Entire SAP Product Lifecycle

Simplify RFP Processes

The Service Marketplace offers a new feature available through the Mall area: the opportunity to request and submit RFPs to SAP and partners. The RFP capability is currently available for Hardware Sizing, Hosting, and Trust Center Services (e.g., authentication and single sign-on services).

     To submit an RFP, simply select an option under the Request for Proposal section on the left of the Service Marketplace homepage (Figure 1). The subsequent screens will give you the opportunity to send out your RFP to SAP partners and service providers, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 An RFP for SAP hosting Services

     The Service Marketplace enables SAP customers to match their SAP-related technology needs with the capabilities of suppliers. By providing a central location where RFPs can be posted and distributed, mySAP.com Marketplaces, in general, greatly reduce administrative expenses involved in buying and selling. As an added benefit, the Service Marketplace streamlines the RFP process: you can distribute RFP changes without physically photocopying and mailing a new copy of the document each time it changes.

Obtain Information on SAP and SAP Partners

On the homepage of the Service Marketplace, you will find information regarding SAP and its partners.¹ As with other Marketplace or Workplace solutions, you can personalize the homepage so that it meets your particular needs.

     The key information available at the SAP Service Marketplace includes:

  • The Spotlight area, which provides the latest news from SAP, and Business News, which offers a central location for viewing news from around the world relevant to the SAP Solutions market. This area displays news from participating SAP partners, and provides links to other sources, such as SAP TV for online viewing.

  • The Mall area on the homepage gives users access to a Yellow Pages section, which contains the Partner Directory. The Online Ordering area provides access to the Service, Software, Knowledge, and Training Catalogs. The Media Library contains the various media produced by SAP, such as documentation, brochures, and guidebooks. The Mall area also includes the opportunity to send RFPs for Hardware Sizing, Hosting, and Trust Center Services. These RFP capabilities will increase in the future.

  • The Support area within the homepage of the SAP Service Marketplace gives SAP customers easy access to catalogs, self services, and request services. This area includes the traditional functions that were included in SAPNet for customers and partners, and which have been carried over to the Service Marketplace. These include SAP Notes, Customer Message Wizard, information about the Remote Service Connection, User Data Administration, and SAP Online Corrections, where you can download Support Packages. Figure 4 shows the menu and the Download Support Packages page. Systems administrators will find the Modifications menu helpful as a place to make Namespace Requests, License Key Requests, and Migration Key Requests.

  • Within the Knowledge & Training area on the homepage, users can access Knowledge Management providers who are participating on the Service Marketplace. E-learning options such as live, prerecorded, and self-paced material are also available. Users will also find SAP's IDES (Internet Demonstration and Evaluation System), which offers an online guide through SAP systems. The Training subsection has categorized available training from SAP into three main areas: SAP-specific skills, IT skills, and business skills and professional development.

  • The Events area links to the SAP Events Calendar. Detailed event reviews are available here, which provide users with insights into what events could be most valuable to them. Additionally, information from SAPPHIRE events from around the world is stored here.

  • Within the Communities area, users can find links to the mySAP.com Partner Value Net, SAP User Groups from around the world, the SAP Design Guild, the MiniApp Community, and CCCNet.

  • The other areas featured on the Service Marketplace homepage are Solutions, Initiatives, Useful Links, and Online Magazines. These key information areas have been selected especially for Service Marketplace users, and connect users to SAP-related information.
Figure 4 SAP Online Corrections Available Through the Service Marketplace

SAP Web Resources

SAP
www.mysap.com
mySAP.com Marketplaces
www.mysap.com/marketplace
mySAP.com Workplaces
www.sap.com/solutions/workplace
mySAP.com Business Applications
www.sap.com/solutions/
business_applications

SAP Service Marketplace
http://service.sap.com
SAP Labs
www.saplabs.com
SAP Open BAPI Network
www.sap.com/bapi
SAP Events
www.sap.com/eventsz

SAP Publications

SAP Insider
www.sappublications.com
SAP Professional Journal
www.SAPpro.com

SAP User Group

ASUG
www.asug.com

SAP-Related Web Sites

SAP Job Search
www.sap-resources.com
SAP Fan Club
www.sapfans.com
SAP Club
www.sapclub.com

Determine Hardware Requirements with the Quick Sizer Tool

The performance requirements of a system are usually defined by the business requirements. Hardware and system performance, however, is measured by technical performance indicators. Matching these fundamentally different performance figures is the goal of the sizing process.

     The Quick Sizer tool assists in selecting the hardware and system platform that meets your business requirements. At the Service Marketplace, customers can now use the Quick Sizer online, along with the RFP features, to work with vendors to find the best solution to their hardware needs.

     To access the Quick Sizer, select Hardware Sizing from the Requests for Proposal menu. A section provides an introduction to the process, and then moves into an easy-to-use online application that guides customers through a structured questionnaire (see Figure 5). Then the business requirements are stated as simple business-oriented figures that the Quick Sizer translates into technical, hardware-independent system requirements.

     After you complete the Quick Sizer forms, you can obtain the preliminary results, and an immediate RFP can be sent to selected vendors on the Service Marketplace. These partners can then propose a specific platform to support your business requirements. Direct links to SAP's hardware partners facilitate the tendering procedure.

Connect with SAP and SAP Partners

mySAP.com Marketplaces enable suppliers and customers to work together over the Internet. The Service Marketplace is specifically created to help you and your organization connect with SAP and partners, make the best use of available SAP-related resources, save time and money, and get the information you need from the SAP online community. As for the future of the Service Marketplace, watch for additional developments and features. Current plans include expanded partner participation, resource planning tools, and recruitment resources, among others - all to help you get the most out of your SAP investment.


Figure 5 A Page from the Quick Sizer Questionnaire


¹ Note that some of the resources mentioned will be available in future releases of the Service Marketplace

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