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Capitalize on the Value of SAP Enterprise Support

by Dr. Uwe Hommel | SAPinsider

January 1, 2009

Customers are challenged to innovate yet protect IT investments, constantly improve business processes, reduce operations costs, and maintain business continuity. SAP launched SAP Enterprise Support, a holistic application and lifecycle management support approach, to address these challenges.

As IT landscapes grow and solutions become more mission critical, the cost of successfully operating an IT landscape becomes a key business driver. Customers today are challenged to innovate yet protect IT investments, constantly improve business processes, reduce operations costs, and maintain business continuity.

Early last year, SAP launched SAP Enterprise Support, a holistic application and lifecycle management support approach, to address these challenges.

1. Enabling Innovation While Protecting Your IT Investments

SAP Enterprise Support allows you to leverage the innovation of SAP's enhancement package architecture, enabling you to apply new functionality without upgrades. You decide which software innovations from SAP to implement, and using the switch framework, you can activate the software you need when your business requires it.

In this way, you can minimize the impact of software updates and implement new functionality faster, employing shortened testing cycles and coordinated change management procedures enabled by SAP Solution Manager, enterprise edition. This enhancement approach helps reduce costs and technical risks while embracing innovation.

SAP Enterprise Support now provides an industry-leading 7-2 maintenance strategy, including 7 years of mainstream maintenance plus 2 years of optional extended maintenance. This strategy allows customers a greater return on their investment in SAP technology by providing more time to deploy and adopt new innovation to support their business goals.

What's more, SAP Enterprise Support offers as many as five days per year of remote advice from SAP solution architects. These architects can help you evaluate the latest SAP enhancement package so you can best deploy it to fulfill your business process requirements. This added support will help customers speed time to value for their investments.

Companies often spend too much time and money testing their IT system landscape after an upgrade to ensure that all objects are available and working as before. SAP Enterprise Support assists customers before an upgrade by providing preconfigured test cases (with SAP Solution Manager, enterprise edition) to help customers determine the full scope of testing required for SAP and non-SAP systems.

Companies invest millions of dollars — and years of effort — assembling the best technology from multiple vendors, all to uphold mission-critical business applications.

2. Continuously Improving Business Processes

With SAP Enterprise Support, customers can get a window into 100% of their business process exceptions and have 100% transparency into business process key performance indicators. SAP Solution Manager, enterprise edition, contains enhanced tools for monitoring business processes and managing exceptions.

To ensure end-to-end solution operations, SAP Enterprise Support provides guidelines and predefined content for configuration, as well as best practices for system administration. It also offers: support for change control with tools for functional and volume testing; end-to-end business process integration and automation with tools that provide job, interface, and business process monitoring, as well as exception and alert management; and service-oriented architecture (SOA) readiness with tools to help manage custom components.

3. Reducing the Costs of Operations

With SAP Enterprise Support, SAP customers can identify direct costs that they can eliminate through the use of the SAP tools noted above. They can also achieve indirect cost savings through operational procedures, as well as an increased knowledge and understanding of available resources. For example, SAP Enterprise Support's modification justification check allows a customer to present to SAP a proposed modification that they want to do, and SAP will inform the customer whether or not that change could be achieved through standard functionality. If it cannot, SAP will recommend the best way to implement that modification. This helps customers avoid costs associated with developing and maintaining unnecessary modifications along with ensuring their custom developments do not conflict with SAP-delivered code.

4. Maintaining Business Continuity

A single outage can cost more than what a company pays for support and maintenance. If you are down for a day, what does that system outage cost you per minute? SAP Enterprise Support offers end-to-end supportability and integrated operations with "single source of truth" capabilities through the change and request management functionality included with SAP Solution Manager, enterprise edition.

Any hiccup in the day-to-day operations of your mission-critical applications can cause severe business loss if not properly managed; this includes identifying the problem's root cause and taking corrective action to fix it. SAP Enterprise Support includes the processes and tools required to manage the collaboration among involved parties and vendors to resolve your incidents quickly. This allows support teams to pinpoint the root cause of any problems that arise in your SAP environment, or enables you to identify what non-SAP technology — database, operating system, or application — is the source of the issue. And knowing exactly where the issue originates saves valuable time and resources.

Closing Support Gaps for Complex Landscapes

The SAP Enterprise Support model evolved because IT systems have evolved. A decade ago, SAP systems were independent and isolated; today, SAP delivers a business process platform, and customers naturally introduce additional functionality — that they have developed themselves, have had a partner develop for them, or have licensed from a third party.

While all this new functionality has increased the ability of SAP and its partners to provide end-to-end business processes and operations, it has also created gaps in levels of support. SAP Enterprise Support provides state-of-the-art tools and techniques to fill these gaps, protecting and supporting your organization's entire SAP landscape. For more information, visit

Dr. Uwe Hommel
Executive Vice President
Active Global Support


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