SAP Global Alliance Executive,
Citrix Systems, Inc.
So you've laid out a plan for your SAP upgrade. Your business analysts have gathered the requirements, your business users are ready for testing, your ABAP developers have started development, and your Basis team is working with the Data Center team to minimize your downtime. Everything seems to be in place, but you feel like you overlooked something. Maybe you did — but how can you know?
IT organizations are caught between two seemingly irreconcilable forces — the ongoing need for new initiatives that drive business growth and competitive advantage, and the equally insistent demands of managing the infrastructure. If organizations aren't careful, they end up spending most of their time running the system and very little supporting business objectives. Deploying the next upgrade of a given SAP module is a great example of a time-consuming and resource-intensive task that can be minimized to a "non-event" if the right access strategy is in place.
Citrix, an SAP Global Technology Partner and member of the SAP NetWeaver partner initiative, provides a trusted and proven access infrastructure solution — the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite — that enables simple, fast, and scalable application deployments with less risk, leading to quicker returns and allowing you to spend more time on strategic projects to grow your business. By adopting an access infrastructure that features efficient and server-centric application management, collaboration, security, and remote access, organizations such as Delta Air Lines, Kindred Healthcare, Engen, and SAP AG itself have lowered the cost of both managing SAP solutions across a heterogeneous infrastructure and deploying them to a diverse user base.
Secure Access for SAP — Anytime, Anywhere, Over Any Network
The Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite turns every organization into an on-demand enterprise by providing simple and secure access to applications from any location, device, or connection. The MetaFrame Access Suite centralizes application installation, processing, and administration on the server instead of on the desktop, significantly reducing maintenance and support costs and accelerating deployment across the organization.
With Citrix, whether you are deploying the SAP GUI or a published browser running the SAP Enterprise Portal, applications and data never leave the trusted network. Only screen refreshes, mouse movements, and keystrokes are transmitted between server and client. Therefore, no matter what device a person is using — be it a public kiosk, a library terminal, or their child's PC — data integrity is assured.
Also, for the first time, the SAP iView for
the Citrix Business Package, which provides
integration between the Citrix access infrastructure
and the SAP Enterprise Portal, allows organizations
to make their portal the central hub for all
communication and access.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
With its server-centric architecture, Citrix software enables applications to be centrally deployed in a fraction of the time needed to install them individually on local desktops for a large and/or geographically dispersed user base. To upgrade to the next version of an SAP solution, for example, IT teams no longer need to visit hundreds of users in multiple locations or to track down mobile devices. The application is simply installed on one server, pushed out to the other servers in the farm, and then made instantly available to all users simultaneously — no worries about forgetting a device, user, or application. A roll-out can often be completed over a weekend.
"The upgrade to SAP R/3 could not have been done as quickly without Citrix. It would have taken weeks to roll out — with Citrix software, it literally took us hours."
— Andries van der Vyver, Engen
MetaFrame Presentation Server allows you to install the new SAP GUI or updated browser on a separate set of servers. This means that multiple versions of the interface can run within the same production environment, something that cannot be accomplished with a desktop solution alone. Additionally, users can access the new version — whether it's a test bed or the production release — without disrupting their current responsibilities; users just point to an icon, click, and start working.
From an administrator's perspective, you install the updates once and then push the install package to the other servers in the farm. You can complete the entire upgrade in less time than it takes for a single desktop installation.
Additionally, session shadowing allows support staff to remotely monitor and assist users for training or troubleshooting during the upgrade deployment without having to visit their desks personally, resulting in substantial cost savings. During our own deployment of SAP at Citrix, with a population of over 2,000 users worldwide, we recognized savings of over $150,000 on our SAP SRM upgrade alone. We realized ongoing savings of over $100,000 per year on help desk personnel, calls, and orientation/training.
For organizations using the SAP Enterprise Portal, the SAP iView for the Citrix Business Package allows any Win32 or UNIX application running in a Citrix environment to be instantly Web-enabled without recoding and to be centrally deployed to users through the portal. This capability extends the scope of the portal with access to any application.
Lower Costs While Raising Service Levels
Many enterprises have found Citrix
software to be a powerful solution for reducing the cost of computing through greater IT efficiency, reduced infrastructure costs, lower bandwidth demands, and streamlined administration. Citrix itself is a classic example. Having standardized on SAP, Citrix deployed the solution to employees worldwide using MetaFrame Presentation Server. The deployment was completed in just 20 days, with annual cost savings of $2.5 million.
"We needed a standardized office
solution across Europe, but we had a large number of legacy PCs and we didn't want to spend a fortune upgrading them."
— Tom Arentsen,
Following are key TCO areas impacted by Citrix solutions:
Life of Existing Infrastructure
Citrix software supports virtually any device,
including older PCs and terminals, companies
that need to roll out the latest version
of a powerful application like SAP do not
need to upgrade desktop hardware. Further,
organizations have the flexibility to select
cost-effective thin devices instead of full-function
PCs, or to choose the latest PDAs or cell
phones to access their applications.
Predictable Performance Across Any Network
only minimal amounts of data travel between
server and client in a Citrix environment,
the Citrix Independent Computing Architecture
(ICA) protocol uses only 5-25Kbps of bandwidth.
With predictable bandwidth consumption, organizations
can plan and budget for network requirements
across multiple sites and do not require
as many resources for managing and prioritizing
network traffic. All these factors contribute
to significant cost savings.
Realization of ROI and TCO Benefits
application rollouts and upgrades, support
for legacy devices and connections, centralized
support and maintenance, and predictable
network performance combine to create a cumulative
cost savings worth talking about. In fact,
Bill McDermott (President and CEO, SAP America,
Inc.), speaking at Citrix iForum 2003, shared
that: "Using Citrix, SAP reduced costs
by 40 percent. SAP has over 15,000 [concurrent]
users in over 120 countries and increased
productivity by 35 percent. Citrix has earned
trusted advisor status."1
Back to that SAP upgrade — the thing you overlooked was how to make your life easier by using the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite to deploy SAP. With Citrix, the workload associated with deployment to thousands of heterogeneous devices is no longer a logistical challenge. The infrastructure can be better managed, and end-users enjoy a more consistent experience. Besides these compelling features, it's also a less expensive way to go. That will make the executive team happy while you delight your users with improved service.
For more information on the
SAP-Citrix partnership, please visit www.citrix.com/info/sapinsider.
back to top
1 Bill McDermott, Citrix iForum, Orlando, Florida, October 2003.
Michel Koopman, SAP Global Alliance Executive
at Citrix, joined the company in 1999. During
the last five years, he has initiated and managed
strategic technology alliances with SAP, Computer
Associates, and EMC, among others. These relationships
are built on strategic global go-to-market plans,
solution integration, marketing, and sales collaboration
with partners. Previously, Michel held similar
positions at Baan Company and International Distillers.