OK, have to be honest. I have never read, let alone written a blog. I'm sure you'll be slapping your forehead and saying "duh" just by reading that first sentence. Not positive, but I bet rule one of blogging is to not admit you're a novice, but I have to inform you as a reader what you're getting into by continuing to read this posting.
My hope with this blog is to provide some useful information to you as an SAP user. My specific areas of expertise are with Audit, Governance Risk and Compliance, SAP Security and Support. Not exactly the sexiest of SAP's offerings, but I'll try to make these posts as real-world relevant as possible. While I work for SAP now, I was a customer 3 short years ago and I remember (not always fondly) some of the issues I had while using the software. I'm hoping that now I've crossed to the other side, I can take some of the knowledge I've gained in the last 3 years and pass it on to you.
With intros out of the way, on to the meat of the posting. My current role within SAP is within the GRC Support organization. Yes, I am one of those people who frustrates you to no end by sending your SAP problem ticket back asking for a connection, or maybe asking a question that you've already answered twice before, or worse yet, becoming a black hole that your problem seems to never return from. It's not bad enough that you hit a problem with the software, but then you reach a whole new level of frustration when you try to get help. Why can't SAP just fix t
Here's the thing, as you know, SAP has hundreds of thousands of customers. Try as we might, we simply can't know every single customer's business case, configuration and IT landscape. When a problem comes in, there are inherently some questions we need answered, and it will take time to get to the root cause of the problem.
Great, I just told you something you already knew, how does that help? So much for the useful information she promised at the beginning! Well, here's the useful bit of information for this posting: Don't open an SAP Problem ticket to begin with. The fastest solution will always be one you find yourself. That's what I mean by having an "I" in support, you can really solve most problems by yourself.
OK, seems counter-intuitive since I work for SAP support and with this economy, I should be begging you to enter all the problem tickets you can for my own job security reasons. However, the fact is, the majority of issues you encounter, there is probably documentation out there that tells you exactly how to fix it without ever having to talk to SAP support at all.
The question is, how to find it?? You don't want to have to wade through 100's of pages of user guides, or numerous web links, you want a quick and easy solution to your problem. Below are my top 3 places to go to first before ever going to SAP Service marketplace:
1. Business Process Expert Website - the amount of information on
this website is incredible. Has a pretty good search feature so just type in what you're looking for in your search and see what kind of quick reference guides, whitepapers and other documentation is out there.
2. SAP Forums - there are 2 main ones I suggest. These are amazing. Customers are very active, as well as consultants and SAP representatives. These are real world scenarios and it's pretty easy to search to see if anyone has every hit the same issue you have.
A. BPX forums - forums.sdn.sap.com/index.jspa.
B. ASUG forums - www.asug.com/Discussions.aspx
3. SAP Notes - ok, if you go to open a message, technically it makes you search for notes, but if you're like me, you breeze by this. Not smart. While it can be a bit frustrating, if you leverage the note search capability by using different search words, there's a pretty good chance you're going to find a note that describes your exact problem. Think of this like Google. If you search and don't see anything, change up your search terms. Best to focus on the error message and to keep things generic. Spending 10 minutes here, will save you tons of time and frustration in the long term if the fix is already out there to be found.
Before I use up my limit for this posting, just want to highlight some key SAP Notes that also might be helpful.
1. 1054121 - SAP ecosystem in a nutshell. Swear that this is the real title of this! Contains some great links.
2. 1390785 - Specific to GRC, but has a good presentation that summarizes a lot of what I've written above (yes, I wrote this note!)
3. 98726 - SAP expert forums. Has a link how you can access this website.
So that concludes my first official blog. If you have questions or comments on this posting (or anything else), or think I should just get out of the blogging world entirely, I'd love to hear from you.
Jayne Gibbon, SAP