When Nathan Williams (on Twitter as @SolManhattan) agreed to write a blog series for SAPinsider Online, the idea was to share his tips and tricks on SAP Solution Manager – after all, we knew him from his SAPexperts articles, his conference presentations, and of course his 800-page opus IT Service Management in SAP Solution Manager (available now from SAP PRESS).
But we also asked him to share another perspective, with more casual notes from the field and thoughts on the risk and reward of going independent in the SAP ecosystem. In this excerpt, his first blog in the series, he introduces all those topics - plus a quick SAP TechEd preview on SAP Solution Manager. Sounds like we’ll be asking Nathan lots about Solution Documentation and cCTS in the coming months? – Kristine Erickson, editor
Lessons from the trenches, stories from the road, and some good insight into the latest SAP Solution Manager components…. In this blog kickoff, I’m looking forward to sharing my perspective on managing SAP projects and maintaining solutions with the latest SAP Solution Manager functionalities.
I’ll also be sharing some casual notes on transitioning into the role of an independent consultant.
From the moment I stepped into this role, I became immersed in diverse and challenging, opportunities. Luckily, I have been consumed with world-class customers as well as extremely bright IT and Management professionals right off the bat. For me, having the opportunity to vastly expand my client base as well as my professional network make the risk of independent consulting worthwhile.
There have also been many other mentors (some I have never met face-to-face) that have inspired me to take the leap into independent consulting and not look back. Throughout this blog series I look forward to attributing my experiences and growth to all parties mentioned above! The idea is to keep this spontaneous, fun, and informative.
Speaking of informative, SAP TechEd 2013 in Las Vegas is just around the corner. Out of all the SAP conferences, TechEd is my personal favorite. For me, the content there provides a balanced blend of “in-the-weeds” details as well as an exciting overview on what is coming in future releases. This will be my 4th year attending TechEd (and my 2nd as a contributor), and you simply cannot put a price on reconnecting with past colleagues and customers. Make no mistake, it is also a great time.
And, let’s be honest guys, it’s Vegas.
This year, I will be involved in the SAP Solution Manager ASUG pre-conference sessions. John Krakowski, Evan Stoddard, Tim Steuer, and Wulff Knapp from SAP will deliver a full day of lectures and hands-on sessions that are not to be missed. I had a call with John and Evan earlier this week to discuss the agenda and I have to admit, I have not been this excited for TechEd since attending for the first time in 2010.
You can expect a strong focus on Solution Documentation and how the related components support the “Two Value Releases per Year” proposition. I anticipate this will be the key focus for SAP Solution Manager throughout TechEd. Read more about this proposition here: Two Value Releases Per Year. I’m also expecting a technical deep-dive on the enhancements delivered with Support Package 10 (which by the way, has been confirmed to be released October 31, 2013). Of particular interest to me is the Central Change and Transport System (cCTS) functionality that promises to deliver a much more flexible way to control changes that occur across your system landscape.
Michael Pytel of NIMBL and I will be co-facilitating the interactive partner discussions / experiences around using Solution Documentation. We are looking forward to hearing the successes, best practices, and challenges that SAP customers are experiencing in this area. Further, we are looking forward to sharing our field notes from our years of experience aiding customers in documenting their SAP solutions to more efficiently implement and optimize SAP solutions.
That’s it for now. Follow me on twitter @SolManhattan or feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to meet you at TechEd!
Nathan Williams is a senior SAP management and technology consultant with a prominent concentration in SAP Application Lifecycle Management and SAP Solution Manager. Coordinating with IT, business, and program management teams, he has effectively defined strategies and roadmaps to help SAP customers seamlessly transition to SAP Solution Manager processes and capabilities. Nathan is also experienced with all technical configuration aspects of SAP Solution Manager, including security, Basis, and SAP CRM. He is the author of the book IT Service Management in SAP Solution Manager. You may contact Nathan at email@example.com.