Imagine equipping your SAP landscape with a centralized command station. From
this single monitor and control center, you could manage your entire mySAP.com
solution landscape - including all your SAP resources, and even the interfaces
from your third-party systems. This command center would not only document your
current landscape, but would also be updated as your system grows and changes
over time, as a common point of reference for your in-house support team, SAP,
partners, and consultants alike, to give all parties the same information in
the same context when it comes to installations, upgrades, and maintenance.
That, in a nutshell, is what you get with
the SAP Solution Manager.
The SAP Solution Manager is a new platform from
SAP that integrates all the content, tools, and methodologies that you
need to help support the technical implementation and operation of your
enterprise's mySAP.com solutions. With the SAP Solution Manager installed
onsite, your enterprise has a central point of entry for performing services
to enhance system operations, monitor solutions, and support the entire
system landscape (see Figure 1).
||SAP Solution Manager Main Screen
Starting this year, the SAP Solution Manager
will be a prerequisite for SAP customers to receive proactive services,
such as the GoingLive Check and the EarlyWatch Alert, and will be provided
to all customers as a part of their maintenance fee. (For more information
on these services, see Table 1 below.)
Best Practices Documents for Solution Management
| Best Practices documents for solution management simplify
and guide you through complex issues in the implementation and management
of your solution landscape. They are based on SAP's experience with
thousands of customer installations. Several Best Practices documents
(Landscape Copy Guide, Mobile Sales for CRM, etc.) are available via
the SAP Solution Manager.
Predictive and Proactive Services
|SAP's proactive and predictive services safeguard the
entire solution life-cycle. Feasibility studies focus on integration,
operation, and risk management and lead to a smooth implementation
and operation. During technical implementation, GoingLive services
take care of supporting and auditing the startup of operations, while
EarlyWatch services assure continuous operation and optimization of
the solution. Predictive and proactive services can either be delivered
remotely, onsite, or as self-service procedures. The SAP Solution
Manager is the required delivery platform for all TeamSAP support
Continuous Improvement Services
|These services are delivered by onsite teams of experienced
SAP consultants and help you to identify potential problems in your
mySAP.com solution. For example, during the Solution Management Review
Service, core business processes are analyzed and issues that affect
the normal flow of the implemented core business process are identified.
This information is documented in the SAP Solution Manager. A range
of Solution Management Optimization Services focused on specific critical
weak points are then available and delivered in the SAP Solution Manager.
and Services to Enhance Systems Operations
Seamless Communication with SAP and Partners Enhances Sophisticated
With easy-to-implement add-on technology, the SAP Solution Manager offers
comprehensive services in three key areas:
- Monitoring to help ensure successful execution of core business
business process monitoring
Level Management (SLM) reporting
- Services to enhance system operations:
to SAP Best Practices documents for solution management via a link to
the SAP Service Marketplace
and predictive services for optimization and maintenance
- Support for users and IT teams:
implementation of SAP Notes
search capabilities for the SAP Notes database
desk with integrated messaging functionality for user support
remote support using Microsoft NetMeeting via SAProuter.
In addition to these monitoring and tuning
services for SAP systems, the SAP Solution Manager also supports seamless
communication between your organization, SAP, and partners for any additional
services your system requires.
Figure 2 illustrates the collaboration
that the SAP Solution Manager promotes - from reporting and monitoring
to service delivery. Knowledge transfer and requests for services are
made easy, since the SAP Solution Manager acts as a platform for communication
between a customer, SAP, and partners. It also becomes a single, central
documentation point for information that you can make available to everyone
involved at installation, maintenance, and upgrade. (See the section "The
SAP Solution Manager Offers Benefits for the Entire IT Team.")
||Opportunities for Collaborative
Service Delivery with the SAP Solution
The SAP Solution Manager Offers Benefits for the Entire IT Team
Highlights of the SAP Solution Manager
Additional benefits of the SAP Solution Manager include:
- Safeguarding of the technical implementation and operation
of any mySAP.com solution
- Optimal performance of systems and core business processes
- Extensive knowledge transfer
- Closing of the gap between functional/application and system
- Direct connection to SAP Support
- Optimum support with integrated help desk
- Instant feedback to SAP
- Application sharing
- Alert display for the entire system landscape
- Easy access to the full range of SAP services and support
- Easier ordering and simplified processing for all support and
- Instant automatic updating, including personalized Hot News
- Lower cost of ownership of the mySAP.com solution
For a clearer idea of how this might work in practice, we'll take a look
at how typical IT teams might use the SAP Solution Manager for their own
solution management activities.
Imagine an SAP customer — let's call it
the ACME Corporation. ACME's solution landscape fits that of a familiar
e-business solution landscape. The company is running SAP to execute its
core business processes and, of course, has integrated some non-SAP systems
into this environment as well.
The IT department at ACME was eager to
try out the SAP Solution Manager. For system administrators, it would
make it easier to order and perform services, and provide the functionality
they need to monitor and ensure the execution of core business processes.
The IT support team could use it to build and improve help desk capabilities,
with search functions for the SAP Notes database and automatic implementation
of SAP Notes. The detailed and overview solution performance reports generated
in this process would be an invaluable asset for the IT Director. And
a host of additional benefits would be accrued as well (see "Highlights
of the SAP Solution Manager").
When the IT department installed the SAP
Solution Manager, they simply downloaded the SAP Solution Manager software
from the SAP Service Marketplace. The installation was completed easily
within a few days, including inputting information about ACME's system
landscape via the step-by-step processes, templates, and tables contained
within the SAP Solution Manager.
Best of all, the cost of obtaining the
SAP Solution Manager was included in ACME's standard maintenance agreement
with SAP. The IT department now has a platform that can completely transform
the work of managing and optimizing their solutions.
Take Full Advantage of Internal and External Operations, Monitoring,
and Support Capabilities
In the introductory screen of the SAP Solution Manager, shown back in
Figure 1, the different sections of the platform are depicted in the navigation
bar on the left. The services available to this particular solution landscape
are displayed in the main screen.
From the Operations Section of the SAP Solution Manager, the IT department
can now access a wide variety of SAP services (whether remote or onsite),
Self-Services, and SAP Best Practices for Solution Management.1
These services are triggered dynamically, and are based on the configuration
and status of the specific system landscape. Table 1 lists examples of
the Operations Section's contents.
The Operations Section provides IT operations
managers with a clear overview of all service recommendations. The results
are then available in clearly structured reports, which are archived in
the Operations Section.
The Monitoring Section of the SAP Solution Manager, shown in Figure
3, addresses System Monitoring, Business Process Monitoring (e.g.,
monitoring a sales process from order to delivery that runs through different
systems - SAP and non-SAP), and Service Level Management (e.g., tracking
and measuring transaction response times).2
This multi-level approach enables the monitoring and administration of
the entire solution.
||Solution Monitoring Screen from the SAP Solution Manager
From the Monitoring Section, the IT team
can monitor the solution landscape graphically, including the tracing
of core business processes through different systems and interfaces. This
information can also be sent to cellular phones or PDAs with the Mobile
Solution Manager, a mobile interface that enables Solution Monitoring
alerts to be sent to handheld devices.
Figure 4 is an example of system
monitoring, giving the system administrator a complete overview of the
solution landscape and indicating the exact components where problems
are occurring. Clicking on the alert symbols sends the system administrator
to detailed information about the problem, along with hints on techniques
||System Monitoring in Display Mode with the SAP Solution
Just as with systems and hardware, the
IT team can also monitor specific business processes (see Figure 5).
With the SAP Solution Manager, the system administrator has a graphical
overview of the company's business processes and the systems (both SAP
and non-SAP) in which the various transactions are taking place. Interfaces
are mapped and graphics highlight system bottlenecks.
With Service Level Management (SLM) reporting
and alerts, including SLM Reporting and EarlyWatch Alert, the IT teams
can receive reports on the state of the solution. The IT team can define
system status reports, determine how to arrange the content of generated
reports, and set transactional-based time limits. The resulting summary
service reports are indispensable sources of information for management
decisions on hardware and software issues.
||Overview of Business Processes in the SAP Solution Manager
Within the Support Section of the SAP Solution Manager, the IT team has
a complete infrastructure for coordinating and operating an onsite help
desk organization, covering the entire solution landscape.
In addition to message handling and access
to the SAP Notes database, as well as other SAP Service Marketplace information,
the Support Section integrates tools, including Note Assistant, for automatic
application of SAP Notes, and Microsoft NetMeeting, for real-time problem-solving
involving the user, the IT staff, and SAP.
When SAP Solution Manager is installed,
any user in any of the solution systems - whether SAP or non-SAP - can
post a support request quickly and simply, and the posted message will
then appear in the Support Notifications section (see Figure 6).
From this interface, the in-house support team can access a completely
integrated message-handling system with a full range of problem-solving
For more serious issues, the support team
has a direct connection from the SAP Solution Manager to SAP, over which
they can forward Support Notifications to SAP's support organization,
who stand ready to solve the problem immediately. Once the issue is resolved,
the new status information is transferred directly into the company's
One more exciting new feature is a shared
view of an application between the end user, the onsite help desk, and
SAP's support organization using Microsoft NetMeeting technology. SAP
has developed an SAProuter enhancement so that experts at the onsite help
desk or in SAP Support can actually see the front-end for further analysis.
Users can then share these applications with their help desk and SAP simultaneously
for faster and easier problem-solving.
||Support Notification in the SAP Solution Manager
Technical Requirements for the SAP Solution Manager
The SAP Solution Manager is a technical add-on that is currently available
worldwide as part of the customer maintenance agreement with SAP.
It can be downloaded from the SAP Service Marketplace at www.service.sap.com.
Alternatively, an installation CD can be ordered via the SAP Service
Marketplace or from SAP's global support organization.
The SAP Solution Manager can be installed
on any one of the following platforms:
- SAP R/3 4.6C or higher
- Web Application Server 6.10 or higher
- mySAP Workplace 2.11
Using the Solution Manager within
a web browser requires Internet Transaction Server (ITS) 4.6D with
the latest patch level, for use with Netscape Navigator 4.7 or higher
or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0/5.01.
To access SAP Solution Manager through
SAP GUI for Windows, the Basis Release 4.6D version of SAP GUI for
Windows is required.
For generation of service session reports
and the upload of questionnaires, you need Microsoft Office 2000,
Service Pack 1, language "English."
How to Get Started
To learn more about the new SAP Solution Manager and the exciting benefits
it offers to SAP customers as you technically implement and operate your
mySAP.com solution, visit the SAP Service Marketplace at http://service.sap.com/solutionmanager.
more information on Best Practices for
Solution Management, see "Empower
Your IT Team with SAP's Best Practices for Solution Management" by
Ute Rueckert-Daschakowsky in this issue of SAP
more on service-level management, see "It Takes the Right Tools
and Metrics to Monitor SLA Compliance" in
the January-March 2001 issue of SAP Insider.
Wolf joined SAP in 1999 as
an application consultant for the SAP
Sales and Distribution module. After
a service delivery project for the
former Technical Core Competence department,
she joined the SAP Global Support Product
Management team in 2000. She is now
responsible for all marketing-related
Devine joined SAP (UK) in 1998
in a sales support capacity. In 1999
she moved to SAP AG in Germany and became
responsible for Service Communication
for SAP's Services organization.