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Benefit from Experience: Ensure Smooth Implementations, Efficient Upgrades, and Continuous Operations with SAP Safeguarding

by Brian Greenberg | SAPinsider

January 1, 2010

Leveraging SAP Safeguarding services guarantees that you’re using the most complete and extensive knowledgebase around SAP solutions to manage an application life cycle. Review three best practices for optimizing the life cycle of your applications with these comprehensive offerings.
 

Over the past several years, SAP has seen many of you use and deploy SAP solutions in your own way. Your stories are unique — you have different configurations, applications, interfaces, modifications, and technology stacks.

Yet despite your unique situations, you are encountering similar challenges. You face conflicting demands: Your IT organization is tasked with not only guaranteeing business continuity and driving innovation, but also reducing costs and risks. And you’re striving to effectively deploy and run SAP solutions to gain faster time-to-benefit while still maintaining flexibility for innovation and rapid growth.

To help you tackle these issues, SAP has developed the following service portfolios, which include various analysis and optimization services and activities:

  • SAP Safeguarding for Integration Validation
  • SAP Safeguarding for Upgrades
  • SAP Safeguarding for Operations

Not only do these comprehensive portfolios offer insight and guidance from the SAP Active Global  Support organization, but they’re also designed to help your IT staff enhance its effectiveness and level of understanding of your company’s IT infrastructure. This is done through a codified system of knowledge transfer, so IT can continue to efficiently maintain and monitor systems and business processes after the service engagement is over.

Only when your IT team, business users, and key vendors collaborate can your enterprise overcome its pressing challenges and leverage your systems as a competitive advantage.

Customers Asked, SAP Answered

We developed these SAP Safeguarding offerings in response to you, our customers, and your need to more proactively address potentially mission-critical issues before they occur. The services represen our collective, cumulative technical expertise and knowledge (both product- and non-product-related) gained from supporting SAP customers and their installations for more than three decades. Customers can benefit from our experience and know-how when they engage in SAP Safeguarding services.

The key to SAP Safeguarding for software implementation and upgrade projects is to identify, assess, and mitigate technical risks. Proactive checks and diagnostics identify relevant risk factors and offer remediation early in the project life cycle. Early identification will reduce or eliminate costly downtime and delays and provide ample time for resolving any performance bottlenecks, should they occur. During an SAP Safeguarding engagement, you will collaborate with SAP technical quality managers and their delivery teams to determine the factors that pose risks to your project. These risks will be addressed through our services to work toward a successful go-live.

An SAP Safeguarding engagement also provides the knowledge and enablement required for improving existing IT operations using the Run SAP methodology and SAP standards for solution operations. The Run SAP methodology enables you to optimize the implementation and ongoing management of end-to-end solution operations.

Maximize Your Entire Application Life Cycle: Implementation, Upgrade, and Ongoing Operations

SAP Safeguarding consists of a combination of on-site and remote services, delivered by SAP support engineers, that can be leveraged throughout an application life cycle to mitigate technical risks and help establish or adapt high-performing operations. You’ll be better equipped to avoid complications from the outset of your IT projects if you employ SAP Safeguarding. Let’s review three best practices for optimizing the life cycle of your applications with the help of SAP Safeguarding.

1. Reduce the Risk and Cost of New Technology

Implementing new technology and applications typically involves more applications, servers, desktops, network capacity, and new or changed business processes than an upgrade does. Therefore, the outcome of new implementations can suffer if a company doesn’t conduct careful tests pertaining to both integration and performance, especially in complex IT environments. Failing to ensure adequate testing can increase the overall costs and risks of implementations and negatively impact subsequent operations.

SAP Safeguarding for Integration Validation improves integration testing procedures by using the advanced root-cause analysis capabilities that SAP Solution Manager provides. This helps identify issues and their root causes much earlier, minimizing the time needed for test completion. This engagement provides SAP experts to help ensure a successful implementation and help enable manageable and reliable ongoing operations of your SAP software.

2. Identify Upgrade Challenges Before They Turn into Problems

The upgrade process is an area in IT that offers both rewards and risks. On the one hand, upgraded applications offer more features and functionality, and they frequently have the potential for more innovation based on that new functionality. On the other hand, upgrades of specific components, especially within an application used enterprise wide, require a keen awareness of dependencies and compatibilities. These dependencies can appear in both software code and business processes. When a component targeted for an upgrade has been customized for specific business needs, IT must take even more care to ensure that user-driven changes don’t conflict with a vendor’s code changes.

SAP Safeguarding for Upgrades offers a holistic, end-to-end approach that can assist you in proactively identifying and addressing potential challenges associated with an SAP solution upgrade before any business disruptions occur. With a proven methodology and service engagements conducted during various quality gates, an organization can effectively identify risks to preempt problems.

3. Maintain Standards to Stabilize and Enhance Your IT Operations

Companies have invested heavily in their IT infrastructure. While there are always opportunities to add more capacity, it’s economically prudent to assess a system’s current capacity to see if it is under- utilized or underperforming compared to its potential. Companies should continuously manage business processes in a standardized and cost-effective manner after going live with software.

SAP Safeguarding for Operations establishes the end-to-end SAP standards for solution operations and a certified support organization that can not only manage the current IT operation smoothly, but also drive solution operations safely through new challenges. This engagement also provides services for continuous improvement that can be used to eliminate existing performance issues and to proactively combat potential problems.

Experience Matters

SAP Safeguarding services have been performed tens of thousands of times around the globe. Leveraging these services guarantees that you’re using the most complete and extensive knowledgebase around SAP solutions to effectively manage your organization’s application life cycle. Our customer-tailored approach results in successful implementation, upgrade, and IT operation improvement projects and can enable your SAP solutions to perform even better than expected.

For more information, please visit www.sap.com/services/bysubject/support/index.epx and click on the SAP Safeguarding link.

Brian Greenberg (brian.greenberg@sap.com) is a nine-year veteran at SAP. In his current role with SAP Active Global Support, Brian is responsible for positioning SAP Safeguarding offerings for customers and prospects. Some of his responsibilities include scoping each engagement, as well as negotiating terms and conditions for all SAP Safeguarding contracts.

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