by Lindsay Johnson,
Product Managment, SAP AG
SAP Active Global Support has assembled an
extensive range of services and checks into
three new support programs: Safeguarding, Solution
Management Optimization, and Empowering. These
programs provide a full complement of services
(listed in Figures 1, 2, and 3)
to keep your SAP solutions highly available
and high performing throughout their entire
life cycle. You have the flexibility to pick
and choose any of the services offered in
any of these programs in an à la carte
fashion to add to and complement your existing
maintenance contract, whether it be SAP Standard
Support, MaxAttention ServiceLevel, or MaxAttention
All offerings are designed to reduce total
cost of ownership (TCO) and accelerate return
on investment (ROI) of increasingly complex
and distributed SAP solutions.
Firmly Place Your Solutions on Solid Ground
The portfolio of checks that make up the Safeguarding program help "safeguard"
the technical integrity of a solution from its outset. Safeguarding checks
ensure the smooth start-up and operation of your implementation, upgrade,
or migration project, help you take an inventory of technical risks and
bottlenecks, assess the project's feasibility, and properly map business
processes to the right technical components. As you approach GoLive, these
Safeguarding checks verify system availability, compatibility of connected
systems, and overall performance of a solution that incorporates heterogeneous
Safeguarding checks are best made use of early on in a project.
The earlier they are used, the greater their capacity to help you
minimize technical and operational risks and related costs.
For customers who want to upgrade their
SAP solution or migrate to newer OS or DB platforms, checks are available
to verify that target systems have adequate capacity and are optimally
configured for your specific requirements. And checks are available to
continually gauge the performance of your SAP solution landscape. These
checks are accompanied by detailed reports that cite areas where performance
can be improved, and suggest concrete, cost-effective ways to achieve
For Safeguarding projects that are not mission-critical, one remote
Safeguarding check may be sufficient to effectively manage technical
risk. For example, a low-complexity implementation project may need
only one run of the SAP GoingLive Check. For more complex projects
with multiple integration points or mission-critical processes,
a higher level of risk management is advised.
Programs Play Off One Another to the Customer's Benefit
Data gathered during initial Safeguarding checks forms the basis of
an individually tailored Risk Management Plan and Service Plan. The Risk
Management Plan defines the input and deliverables required of SAP, partners,
and the customer to collaboratively manage risk. The Service Plan maps
the appropriate services from the Safeguarding, Empowering, and Solution
Management Optimization programs to your specific needs, and indicates
when and how often these services should be delivered. Safeguarding checks
also provide technical guidelines to indicate where costs can be minimized
and how you can avoid potential technical issues in the future. In this
way, Safeguarding services go a long way toward insuring your enterprise
against potential downtime and attaining a reduced TCO and accelerated
An example will help to clarify how these
services can help you better identify, monitor, and manage technical risk
and solution performance.
Imagine a typical SAP customer - let's
call them BIG Manufacturing. BIG Manufacturing is a multi-national e-business
manufacturing corporation with a number of subsidiaries worldwide. Its
numerous mySAP.com solutions include mySAP Supply Chain Management. BIG
Manufacturing uses mySAP.com solutions to execute its core business processes,
and has also integrated some non-SAP interfaces into its IT infrastructure.
BIG is a fast-growing company and is keen to optimize the performance
and availability of its solution landscape to support future growth and
fulfill the needs of a rapidly expanding customer base.
BIG Manufacturing is integrating SAP APO
into its solution landscape to optimize the company's logistics and planning
processes. Due to the relative complexity of BIG's IT landscape, experienced
SAP Service Engineers perform an SAP Technical Integration Check at the
customer site (see Figure 4). This check analyzes BIG's core business
processes and the entire solution landscape with a focus on interoperability
and data consistency.
|The Safeguarding program encompasses a variety
of on-site and remote checks. These checks are applied as required
in each individual customer situation during implementation, upgrade,
or migration projects.
||SAP Feasibility Check
SAP Technical Integration Check
SAP GoingLive Check
||SAP GoingLIve Functional Upgrade Check
||SAP OS/DB Migration Check
|Continuous Monitoring/Business Improvement
||SAP EarlyWatch Alert
SAP EarlyWatch Check
SAP Solution Management Assessment
||Checks Available from the Safeguarding Program
|The Empowering program provides
organizations with the knowledge and skills needed to optimally run
and support a mySAP.com solution landscape.
|Skills Needs Identified Via:
||Core Competency Areas Covered:
||Competencies Delivered Through:
- SAP Operations Competence Assessment
- Safeguarding services
- Customer identification of specific need
|Global Strategy & Service Level
- Classroom Training
- On-Site Workshops
- Self-Service Certification
- Best Practices
|Business Process Management
|Management of mySAP Technology
|Software Change Management
||Core Competencies for Solution management Delivered
by the Empowering Program
|The Solution Management Optimization
program offers services for the technical and continuous optimization
of the entire system landscape.
||SAP SQL Statement Optimization
SAP Customer Program Optimization
SAP Business Process Performance Optimization
SAP Storage Subsystem Optimization
SAP Remote Performance Optimization
||SAP Interface Management
SAP Business Process Management
||SAP Data Management
||SAP System Administration
||Optimization Concerns Addressed by the Solution Management Optimization
||Service Offerings from All Three Programs Complement One Another
From the results of the SAP Technical Integration
Check, SAP Service Engineers develop a Risk Management Plan with recommended
action to be taken by BIG, SAP, and involved partners. These recommendations
include individual services from the Safeguarding, Solution Management
Optimization, and Empowering programs that are summarized in the resulting
BIG's initial SAP Technical Integration
Check identifies risk due to core business processes running across multiple
interfaces between APO and legacy systems that are critical for BIG Manufacturing's
business. SAP Service Engineers recommend the SAP Interface Management
service, a Solution Management Optimization offering. This service is
designed to optimize the integrity, configuration, and performance of
key interfaces within core business processes, which in BIG's case leads
to higher throughput, more rapid response times, and higher-quality data
consistency. An SAP GoingLive Check is performed to prepare for production
start of the involved systems.
In addition, the Service Plan recommends
activating the automated SAP EarlyWatch Alert, an automatic monitoring
program that runs periodically in the background and monitors system performance
and administration. After a while, the SAP EarlyWatch Alert identifies
a potential risk with BIG's database capacity: the database running BIG's
core business processes is approaching its limit. In anticipation of the
extra load from APO processes, the Service Engineers suggest another offering
from the Solution Management Optimization portfolio - the SAP Data Management
service - with the aim of reducing the database load by a typical 25%,
and postponing the need for further hardware investment. In this case,
the service results in recommendations for avoiding and summarizing data,
deleting obsolete data, and archiving, which frees up ample space for
the additional APO transactions.
Solution Management Optimization - Optimizing Operations, TCO, and
ROI of Your Existing Solutions
Solution Management Optimization services, true to their name, help
you optimize the operating potential of existing SAP solutions, not just
at the business process level, but across the full spectrum of the IT
infrastructure that supports your business processes: distributed multiple
hardware systems, underlying operating systems and databases, and application
interfaces. On-site and remote services for technical optimization and
continuous improvement of your application and system operations solve
either the technical issues your organization is already facing or the
potential issues identified during Safeguarding checks.
By using standardized service procedures
delivered by certified engineers, Solution Management Optimization services
reduce the cost of operations. The potential for solution optimization
is considerable. Customers have realized increased throughput of core
business processes through improvements to application interfaces and
database performance, and increased availability as well.
Moreover, customers are finding that it's
not just more throughput and performance that they get out of their original
IT investment; they are also minimizing future hardware costs by optimizing
the use of their current hardware resources. Increased productivity, high
availability, stability, and optimal performance - customers are finding
the gains achieved through Solution Management Optimization services add
up to significantly reduced TCO and a far greater return on their IT investments.
Achieving Self-Sufficiency with Empowering
With on-site guidance, on-the-job mentoring, documentation, and workshops
delivered by experienced SAP professionals, the Empowering program delivers
knowledge transfer plus on-site experts to support you through critical
stages of your solutions' life cycles. Customers emerge from Empowering
programs with a solid base of skilled staff, fully equipped to operate
and maintain their solutions.
The Empowering program has its roots in
SAP's own internal training program, which has successfully trained thousands
of SAP Service Engineers. The program is based on a set of competencies
identified by SAP on the back of extensive experience in thousands of
installations. These competencies represent the skills and expertise your
organization needs to effectively and efficiently run your SAP solution.
The core competencies include the knowledge and skills required to run
a support desk and the professional expertise needed to maintain, manage,
and continuously improve system operations. Competencies and skills are
developed through workshops, service delivery, and a mentoring system
for customer employees.
The self-sufficiency offered with the Empowering program is not
an all-or-nothing proposition. Customers work with SAP to determine
where it makes the most sense to bring support in-house, and which
services should be included.
Empowering services can be selected individually,
based on a competency gap you have identified in your organization, or
they might be recommended as a result of a Safeguarding check or the Empowering
program's SAP Operations Competence Assessment.
What you can expect from an SAP Operations
Competence Assessment is that the jobs and roles in your support organization
will be mapped to the core competencies defined by SAP, comparing the
current level of competency with the target level. The assessment identifies
where the weaknesses lie in your organization and recommends appropriate
Empowering services in a Service Plan. Services can take the form of documentation
(providing best practices to optimize your organization and procedures)
or knowledge transfer (training and on-site workshops from the SAP Support
Academy or SAP Solution Academy, as well as on-the-job mentoring or consulting).
One idea behind the in-depth training and mentoring program is to empower
your organization to deliver selected SAP services, such as the SAP SQL
Statement Optimization service itself. The focus of the "buddying"
concept is learning by doing, with training and live experience building
on each other.
If yours is a company that wants to develop
or optimize an in-house support desk, the SAP Operations Competence Assessment
would assess which core competencies your staff will require, then outline
a knowledge transfer plan involving classroom training and workshops.
If BIG Manufacturing elected to go this route, for example, the SAP Operations
Competence Assessment would also pinpoint weaknesses such as future administration
and technical optimization of the new APO system (see Figure 4). SAP Service
Engineers would recommend a training program for system administrators
to empower them to maintain and optimize BIG's future APO operations.
SAP customers that spend large sums on
outsourced IT support and have the capacity to develop an internal support
desk stand to gain tremendous cost savings. The Empowering program arms
your support organization with the skills to do this.
To Learn More About These Programs and Services...
Customers have the flexibility to purchase individual services from
the Safeguarding, Solution Management Optimization, or Empowering programs
à la carte to supplement their SAP Standard Support or MaxAttention
package and work toward continuous uptime and lower TCO. You can find
more information on Safeguarding, Empowering, and Solution Management
Optimization services on the SAP Service Marketplace at http://service.sap.com/supportservices
and at www.sap.com/services/support.
To purchase individual services, go to http://service.sap.com/supportservices.
more on SAP's maintenance programs, see "New, Tiered Premium Maintenance
Offerings: MaxAttention ServiceLevel and MaxAttention OnSite" by
Ute Rueckert-Daschakowsky in this Special Feature.
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