Trends such as globalization, social media, mobility, and the consumerization of IT have a massive impact on end-customer expectations. These folks want greater transparency and expect products and services to be fully available at all times. Companies that cannot meet these demands may be in danger of losing these customers.
Whether the pressure comes from external end customers or from other departments within the business, IT always seems to bear the brunt. According to Forrester, only 25% of an IT budget is available for real innovations; most resources are still used for daily servicing and maintenance tasks. While in the past few chief financial officers believed that IT provided business benefits, today they want to know exactly how the use of the IT budget affects the company. And rightly so — IT is now in a position to promote new business ideas and models. To achieve this, IT managers must work with other departments and service providers to develop new value-adding business processes to make room in the budget for innovation. But, with so many applications and processes scattered across the enterprise, this is not always an easy feat.
SAP Solution Manager helps bridge the gap between IT and the business by providing a central location to manage all of an organization’s processes and applications. It also makes implementing new solutions easier through close monitoring of every phase of a project. SAP Solution Manager allows IT to reduce the time and effort spent on maintenance activities and actually focus on what really matters.
Achieve Even Greater Efficiency
Freeing up the IT budget and having a powerful monitoring solution in place may not be enough to fully meet consumers’ high expectations in today’s market. It is more important than ever for organizations to have close, collaborative relationships with their service providers — an efficient and high-functioning B2B2C relationship. T-Systems, a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary, uses “zero distance” to describe a company’s radical new proximity to its customers, information, service providers, and employees.
Companies can achieve zero distance with the joint approach to SAP Solution Manager — a model that allows the customer, SAP, and the participating service providers to use the customer’s SAP Solution Manager instance collaboratively to access the same insights. For example, monitoring everything from data center infrastructure, storage, servers, and database, to application operations, LAN, and firewall requires numerous tools, providers, and governance models. There are potential vulnerabilities — some with the risk of outage — that have to be eliminated. The joint model positions SAP Solution Manager as the “single source of truth” in a company’s application lifecycle management (ALM) strategy (see Figure 1). If all of the players work together as a team to manage applications, zero distance — with all of its benefits, including transparency for the customer, superior solution performance, and greater efficiency through close collaboration — becomes a reality.
The following functions demonstrate the benefits of the joint SAP Solution Manager model.
Business Process Monitoring
The advanced monitoring capabilities of SAP Solution Manager not only monitor technical components, but also the functioning of entire process chains. The availability of complete business processes can be increased and represents added value for the future, especially when new business models and processes are introduced.
The comprehensive technical and business process view enabled by SAP Solution Manager has benefits for solution documentation. The use of shared documentation means that points of failure can be identified and eliminated more quickly and systematically. This is a decisive advantage, particularly in the event of business-critical system failures.
Operations Control Center
As part of the Run SAP Like a Factory approach, the central operations control center provides all runtime and status information of important business processes, interfaces, and technical components. The comprehensive correlation of information provided by SAP Solution Manager in the event of a fault makes it immediately clear whether technical or functional support is responsible for eliminating the problem. In addition, a continuous improvement process can be implemented in both areas, dramatically increasing the quality of support.
"We are using the joint SAP Solution Manager model with more than 20 customers; the response has been very positive. In the future, T-Systems will further expand this model, supplemented by Run SAP standards, as the basis for our globally uniform delivery model. Our many years of experience also make us a reliable partner for providing professional support to customers in the implementation of the standards." -- Christoph Hermann, Vice President, Global Delivery Unit, SAP Technology Services, T-Systems International GmbH
Root Cause Analysis
In the event of a fault, root-cause analysis is used to identify causes efficiently and eliminate them more quickly. The joint approach saves time because the customer, SAP, and the service provider have the same full transparency with regard to the current state of error analysis and use the same functions with the same data sources.
Instructions are generated based on SAP Solution Manager for root-cause analysis, message processing, creation of system or client copies, and more. The joint approach to SAP Solution Manager allows collaborative use of these instructions and procedures by the customer, SAP, and the service provider. Uniform, centrally documented standards — adapted to individual customer landscape designs, if necessary — allow smooth operation of individual activities. The joint approach ensures transparent and uniform implementation of quality standards.
SAP EarlyWatch Alerts
With the joint approach, a customer no longer has to forward automatically generated reports on its SAP system landscape’s status to the service provider because both have equal access to the reports. This allows vulnerabilities to be detected and eliminated earlier and faster in coordination with the customer.
Make Zero Distance a Reality
The benefits of the joint approach to SAP Solution Manager are impressive: Zero distance leads to higher service quality, which reduces both the number of failures and costs. The IT budget is also freed up and can be used for implementing innovative technology, making the most of a company’s B2B2C model. To learn more, visit www.t-systems.com.