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Drive Innovation as a Member of the SAP Enterprise Support Advisory Council

by Mark Cordrey | SAPinsider

January 1, 2012

Founded in 2010 as a result of close cooperation with the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN), the SAP Enterprise Support Advisory Council helps drive the evolution of SAP Enterprise Support through collaborative and customer-focused work streams. This approach gives participants the unique opportunity to work on current projects and benefit from SAP Enterprise Support innovations as SAP develops them for its full customer base.

As we enter 2012, many of us are making resolutions regarding our professional careers. We want to differentiate ourselves from the pack and have a bigger impact on our business. Some of us also hope to work more closely with SAP to obtain the knowledge we need for further development. To help fulfill your new year’s resolutions in the workplace, consider participating in the SAP Enterprise Support Advisory Council (ESAC).

How the ESAC Works

Founded in 2010 as a result of close cooperation with our SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN), the ESAC helps drive the evolution of SAP Enterprise Support through collaborative and customer-focused work streams. This approach gives participants the unique opportunity to work on current projects and benefit from SAP Enterprise Support innovations as SAP develops them for its full customer base.

Executed on a global level, SAP works closely with ESAC members to deploy new tools and methodologies based on real-life experiences, and captures feedback and provides direction for future development. Areas of focus are segmented into work streams that center on specific strategic topics. SAP then takes the members’ experiences and the results of the work streams and makes them available to customers through case studies, white papers, interactive forums, and SAP Enterprise Support services. Through the council, customers can become early adopters and build on their experiences to determine the best deployment strategy within SAP Enterprise Support.

Spotlight on the 2011 Council

In 2011, the ESAC was organized into work streams that focused on the SAP Enterprise Support engagement method­­ology, management dashboards, reverse business process documentation and custom code management, and the supportability of SAP BusinessObjects solutions. Let’s look at each topic in more detail.1

Reduce Costs: SAP Enterprise Support Engagement Methodology

As more companies ask SAP for help identifying cost reduction opportunities, we have developed architectural innovations to assist them, including support package stacks, enhancement packages, and dual stack installations. This work stream focused on how the SAP Enterprise Support engagement methodology helps companies determine where to target their activities when they want to reduce their cost of operations. When leveraged through all phases, the engagement methodology is the ideal approach to orchestrate a company’s internal tasks, issues, and service delivery. It also enables the measurement and reporting of key performance indicators that are targeted in a business’s stated objectives.

Increase Efficiency: Management Dashboards

Greater operational efficiency, reduced costs, and increased profitability — these are just some of the many benefits your company can gain as a result of improving its core business processes. Of course, it’s not always a simple task. To enable business performance improvement, you have to optimize the software that supports those processes and strengthen the relationship between business and IT. This work stream aimed to help customers overcome challenges in business process management and operations, including a lack of global transparency, inefficient processes, ineffective document processing, and system clutter — all caused by the failure to update the status of business documents.

Create Transparency: Reverse Business Process Documentation and Custom Code Management

As your business grows, the number of people using your SAP solutions increases. Inevitably, your organization adjusts its business processes as the company expands into new markets and regions. Regional and organizational units often begin to develop their own way of working that deviates from the company’s original business process blueprint.

SAP customers are searching for ways to increase transparency within this changing environment. This work stream focused on how to provide transparency into business process usage and the custom code footprint of each participating customer. We used the solution documentation assistant (SDA) tool in SAP Solution Manager to understand how customers could take advantage of usage information in their environments. For custom code management, we wanted to see how customers could leverage the available custom code tools to identify their custom code footprint and minimize its impact. A customer who participated in this work stream reported that it reduced its custom code testing effort by more than 30%.

Use Remote Connectivity: Supportability of SAP BusinessObjects Solutions

Throughout 2011, SAP worked diligently to enhance remote support for SAP BusinessObjects solutions. This work stream addressed these newly available remote support enhancements, as well as those that we plan to release in the future. These support enhancements feature improved remote connectivity to help optimize the performance of SAP BusinessObjects software by allowing rapid and proactive identification and resolution of issues. They also allow more efficient collaboration with SAP Active Global Support (SAP AGS) by providing environment details and diagnostics while maintaining a secure connection.

Your Input Matters

Customers who participate in the ESAC provide SAP with a source of real-life scenarios and use cases for various work streams. Based on feedback from participants, several development requests have been submitted and are being evaluated. We are also in the process of enhancing and rolling out new service offerings and Expert Guided Implementation sessions as part of SAP Enterprise Support Academy. The Expert Guided Implementation sessions help SAP Enterprise Support customers take advantage of new functionality and methodologies. You can access our new session for software quality and clones through the SAP Service Marketplace at

What’s in It for You?

Why should you join the ESAC in 2012? By participating in the program, you can:

  • Be an early adopter of new SAP Enterprise Support innovations
  • Obtain direct access to SAP development experts and influencers
  • Join our annual event, where you can meet and share your experiences with other customers
  • Speak to other customers at local events and webinars throughout the year
  • Acquire a named SAP Support Advisor who will act as your customer program manager

We are currently accepting applications for new members, but space is limited. Keep in mind that all participants must be SAP Enterprise Support customers. If you are interested in joining the program, contact the support advisory center at


Mark Cordrey ( is Vice President at SAP Active Global Support (SAP AGS), responsible for strategic customer engagements and programs. Mark is accountable for driving the strategic direction for SAP Enterprise Support. Over the past 17 years at SAP, he has held various roles, including Technology Product Specialist, Technical Consulting Manager, Director of Corporate Business Development, and Vice President of SAP Custom Development. Mark has a BS in accounting from Pennsylvania State University and also attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he received an MSE from Penn Engineering and a master’s degree in technology management from the Wharton School of Business.


1 SAP has created and published white papers that describe the scenarios, use cases, and benefits for each work stream. You can access the white papers at [back]


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