Where do mobile delivery make sense for your IT support team, and where and how does SAP Solution Manager 7.1 deliver?
SAP Solution Manager expert Michael Pytel of NIMBL recently took questions on SAP Solution Manager 7.1 and IT mobile support in a January 29 forum.
We covered topics like mobile solutions for technical operations and change request management solutions, support for Android and iOS devices, as well as requirements and SAP NetWeaver Gateway configuration.
It was a very quick preview of his upcoming Admin & Infrastructure Conference in Las Vegas -where Michael will give a detailed session on this same topic.
For the full discussion, read the thread in the IT forum, or our edited version below.
Bridget Kotelly: Welcome Michael! And thanks to everyone joining us for today’s Forum on SAP Solution Manager 7.1 and our special topic today, mobile IT support, with Solution Manager expert and consultant Michael Pytel.
Michael Pytel: Looking forward to answering everyone's questions! Enabling access to Solution Manager tools from a mobile device is a great value add - without additional licensing cost.
lior grinberg: Hi, Is this functionality is standard or do I need to develop it?
Michael Pytel: Lior - Thank you for joining! Posted some screenshots below to give you a sense of the look and feel: twitpic.com/bzb9u7 twitpic.com/bzba26
Is this functionality standard? 100% standard and available with Solution Manager 7.1 SPS6 and above! Here's a quick link to the standard apps.
StanBaines: Hi Michael, I have two connection oriented questions:
1. Do you have to use SUP to make the connection from your mobile device to SAP?
2. We have installed Afaria for mobile device management -- can I use it and it's Relay Server to make the connection to SAP?
Michael Pytel: Stan - Thanks for joining!
1. You can use SUP - but not required. Solution Manager SPS6 and above includes Netweaver Gateway 2.0. Using the IMG or SOLMAN_SETUP we configure Gateway and te mobile apps, publish services in SICF, etc. Here's what the connection details look like for a Netweaver Gateway only client. SUP is 100% supported - but not required.
ITSM iPAD Configuration for Gateway > twitpic.com/bzbav3
2. Love Afaria - for device management. Have not tried it as a relay server. I will investigate and post results here in the coming days.
BridgetKotelly: Can you share some sample mobile use cases for the mobile support; and tips for getting started?
Michael Pytel: Thanks Bridget!
For Use Cases - I like the Change Request Management mobile application for change control meetings. Review/Approve/Reject change requests from an iPad while in a change control meeting continuing the change process.
For the Basis team members - and even IT management - the mobile apps for the monitoring data also help with those hallway requests from users or stakeholder. Imagine...
“Hey Joe IT - SAP is slow today?"
"Let's take a look right now - check out my phone/iPAD. Looks like response time is good overall but Sales Orders processing is slow. I'll take a look..."
BridgetKotelly: Michael - can you give an example architecture for enabling mobile devices outside of your corporate network?
Michael Pytel: Great question Bridget!
How useful can the app be if I can only use it at work? Keeping with my theme - leverage software you already own - we typically recommend using SAP Web Dispatcher to route connections from outside the network securely to Solution Manager. SAP Web Dispatcher is avery light install, has a web based management console and doesnt require a database.
Common connection route...
Mobile Device > External Firewall > SAP Web Dispatch
er > Internal Firewall > SolMan
We can secure connections using HTTPS.
And there is always SUP for those existing Sybase customers.
Scott Priest: How successful has the adoption of the user experience app been for your customers? That seems to be an area SAP is doing more and more in and I'm curious to see whether it's paying off for IT folks and end users alike.
Michael Pytel: Hey Scott!
Unfortunately the least utilized component is End User Experience Monitoring (EEM). Why? People are still transitioning to the new Technical Monitoring in Solution Manager 7.1 from CCMS. After we get Technical Monitoring completed - then we can look at EEM, deploying agents and writing scripts to simulate a user transaction.
On a current project, we're deploying EEM to two sites and running into challenges on hardware. For example, EEM agents only run on 64bit systems and this client's manufacturing sites only have 32bit systems. So we deploy some new hardware and off we go.
I think it will pick up momentum as 7.1 adoption grows.
StanBaines: We have some legacy BMC Remedy based IT management tools in place. Any thoughts around how best to integrate a Solution Manager 7.1 based system with Remedy ITSM or CMDB tools?
Michael Pytel: Stan - Another good question. BMC Remedy is a good ITSM system and I'll cover how customers can begin migrating to Solution Manager ITSM in a session at Admin 2013 (subtle plug to attend in Vegas!)
re: CMDB - you'll find that Solution Manager ITSM has a weak CMDB out of the box
. SAP does have an addon you can buy - SAP Infrastructure Management 1.0 >
I have not implemented SAP IM 1.0 (who likes version 1.0 software?) - but have worked with a developer to create an LSMW to load assets into ITSM.
Hope this helps!
M.S. Hein: Hi, Michael. Can you talk a bit about device support? Is there currently support for iOS and Android, or any others?
Michael Pytel: MS Hein - Thanks for joining the conversation!
Right now - Solution Manager apps are for Android and iOS only. And even then, most apps are for iOS. ITSM mobile app isn't out yet for Android - we use ITSM at NIMBL and I'm a card-carrying google lover (Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 sitting next to me now) See this link for SolMan mobile apps
re: SAP's overall mobile app strategy is all over the board. Check out this SDN post that is continually updated. You'll see they have apps for other solutions on Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry (O Canada!)
Hope this helps! I've got the product manager's ear re: ITSM for Android - will post back if I hear a release date.
Dave Hannon: Michael, Bridget's question on use cases brought a question to my mind-- do SAP teams typically associate Solution Manager with mobile or do they still think of Solution Manager for on-premise and other applications (SUP, Afaria?) for mobile?
Michael Pytel: Dave - Thanks for posting!
Mobile apps for Solution Manager are definitely new and typically installed on-premise. (Quick note to editors - we've been installing Solution Manager is AWS cloud and it works great - topic for another day).
Why is SAP including NetWeaver Gateway and mobile apps for free with Solution Manager? Keep in mind that NetWeaver Gateway is typically a pay-per message application if I deploy on ERP, CRM, etc. So why free and why now?
I think it's a play to get IT persons to quickly deploy some mobile apps with minimal effort and no cost. Once you deploy you'll see how easy it is. This might lead to IT going out to the business and saying "we can do mobile apps - check out our internal app".
Deploying these standard apps literally takes hours, not days (barring network issues).
Bridget Kotelly: Thanks to all who joined is in the Forum today. A full summary of all the questions will be available in the next few days here in the IT Forum on Insider Learning Network.
You can always post your own questions at any time in the IT Forum. Simply log in, go to the IT Forum and select the "New Thread" button at the top of the page.
For more on going mobile with Solution Manager 7.1 , be sure to join Michael in person at our upcoming Admin & Infrastructure 2013 conference at his session on SolMan's mobile capabilities available for
your IT support teams.
Michael will also be presenting a session on migrating help desk tasks & technology to SAP IT Service Management and a hands-on lab on using SAP Solution Manager tools during enhancement package projects. We hope you join us!
And once again, thanks again to Michael Pytel of NIMBL for taking these questions today.