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The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 6, Iss. 1)

by Uwe Hommel | SAPinsider

January 1, 2005

by Uwe Hommel, Senior Vice President, SAP Active Global Support, SAP AG SAPinsider - 2005 (Volume 6), January (Issue 1)

Uwe Hommel,
Senior Vice President,
SAP Active Global Support,

The processes you run today don't look like they did when they were first implemented, and won't look as they do now months down the road. Continuous improvement is standard fare. Business objectives are a moving target, and IT resources have to shift accordingly. At the start of this new year, I'm urging all SAP customers to assess their capacity to manage change, because so much rides on it. The value, quality, availability, and effectiveness of your solution landscape are all bound to continuous improvement.

For many of you, this study may yield uncomfortable results, exposing the fact that improvement is more reactionary than visionary — that you're more apt to effect change in the wake of a problem than as part of a strategic or competitive strike. Or it may be the case that you lack the defined practices, manpower, or expertise. After all, expertise is required along a number of fronts: there needs to be a deep understanding of your business processes, the industry in which you operate, the SAP systems you're now running, the future direction those systems will take, and the all-important linkage between these things. SAP is unique in that we possess extensive knowledge on all these counts, and it's there for the asking.

So whatever the result of your assessment is, keep in mind that SAP Active Global Support is a genuine partner and advocate for your business. My organization holds bottom-line responsibility for customer satisfaction, so we too have a large stake in the success and vibrancy of your solutions. Toward this end, we place extensive resources at your disposal — a good many of which are part of your standard maintenance contract — and these resources can have a significant impact on the TCO and ROI of your landscape, if you exercise them. SAP Solution Manager, for example, should be a staple of every IT organization that manages an SAP landscape. It houses best practices for the implementation, operation, and optimization of SAP solutions. Moreover, it is a vehicle for documenting, testing, and deploying changes and updates. It is part of your annual maintenance fee, and in addition to all these things, it provides a gateway to SAP's premium and on-demand services, should you need them.

I strongly encourage all customers to exploit the optimization and continuous improvement capabilities that are afforded to you through your maintenance contracts and to explore further avenues of collaboration with SAP when the timing is right. Together, we have the means to lower your cost of operations, eliminate process inefficiencies, and focus on what really matters: delivering continually greater value for your business through optimized and innovative uses of your investment in SAP technology.

Uwe Hommel,
Senior Vice President,
SAP Active Global Support,

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