Keeping pace in fast-moving industries requires SAP customers to be agile and ready to adopt different ways of running their businesses better and faster than the competition. New technologies, solutions, and mobile devices seem to appear daily. And organizations want to take advantage of all of it — right now. Simply put, businesses are demanding more innovation that can be deployed in less time, with minimal disruption.
In my experience, businesses ask for this type of innovation for a variety of reasons. In some cases, it is essential for the business to stay competitive. For others, it is about expanding and growing, or being able to deliver an incredible customer or end-user experience. And for some companies, leveraging innovation is a way to drive cost efficiency and manage TCO. Regardless of the reason, the ability to meet the business’s demands for innovation is no longer a “nice to have,” or an item on a wish list. It is an absolute necessity that can challenge even the most efficient and experienced IT organizations.
Hands-On Assistance from SAP ActiveEmbedded
To help customers meet this growing demand to utilize innovative technology more quickly, SAP now offers SAP ActiveEmbedded, a new service delivered by the SAP Active Global Support (SAP AGS) organization. This service offering takes a hands-on approach, delivering programs that proactively integrate our experts into your operational units. It focuses on enablement, skill augmentation, and controls to ensure that your end-to-end solutions work in a business-critical environment. SAP ActiveEmbedded also gives you the skills to transform your business by taking advantage of new products like the SAP HANA platform or mobility solutions.
SAP ActiveEmbedded is designed to integrate seamlessly with your project team and system integrators to drive alignment throughout the implementation life cycle of your IT projects. An engagement takes place over a minimum of two years and the scope is unique to each organization. The SAP ActiveEmbedded team works with members of your Customer Center of Expertise (Customer COE); based on the scope of your engagement, one or more SAP Technical Quality Managers (TQMs) will join your Customer COE and provide guidance on continuous improvement and innovation opportunities. They will also deliver the services outlined in your initial service plan. The role of the TQMs embedded in your organization is to implement, drive, and manage the engineering services delivery, accelerate knowledge transfer, and act as your agent to engage SAP global experts on any key challenges that may arise.
Underscoring each SAP ActiveEmbedded engagement are four areas that help you deliver continuous business innovation: end-to-end application lifecycle management, the “Run SAP Like a Factory” methodology, integration validation, and SAP Rapid Prototyping. Let’s explore each of these in more detail.
End-to-End Application Lifecycle Management
The term “application lifecycle management” has become more popular in the technology industry lately due to its Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) roots. However, the term can take on different meanings, depending on which organization is using it. In this case, the term refers to end-to-end application lifecycle management as it pertains to the SAP Solution Manager platform.
From an SAP ActiveEmbedded perspective, the embedded team will work with your Customer COE to gather program requirements over the entire life cycle of your projects to identify which SAP Solution Manager scenarios best fit your needs. The requirements could translate into the need to set up services to help implement one or more of the following scenarios in SAP Solution Manager:
- Solution implementation functionality
- Test management and automation
- Change control management
- Application incident management
- Business process operations
- Maintenance management
“Run SAP Like a Factory”
The true meaning of “Run SAP Like a Factory” is to create operational readiness and efficiency of your system landscapes and critical business processes to run your business better. The SAP ActiveEmbedded team helps you identify and implement processes to continuously improve the operational efficiencies of your SAP solutions. Because everyone is asked to do more with less, we help you simplify and automate your operational procedures so you can realize the results of optimized system landscapes and critical business processes in your productive solutions.
Four areas we focus on to achieve the stable, efficient operation of your productive SAP solutions are:
- Application operations
- Business process operations
- Solution maintenance and security
- Continuous improvement
When implementing and running your solution landscapes that drive business processes, the integration of solutions can be complex and difficult. Implementation work is typically distributed across many teams and stakeholders, and usually includes both custom-built and third-party software. The challenge is to figure out the best way to ensure all of the pieces that will make up the productive solution work in concert the way they were designed to. The SAP ActiveEmbedded team can help by working with your Customer COE to set up a mission control center. A mission control center provides a framework in which you can collaborate with SAP and all relevant stakeholders to validate solution integrations. It supports a one-team approach and encourages conformance to a clear governance model.
SAP Rapid Prototyping
To help you introduce new innovations like SAP HANA into your organization, SAP has created a new service within the SAP ActiveEmbedded program called SAP Rapid Prototyping. With SAP Rapid Prototyping services, customers can take advantage of a temporary license that provides them with exceptional usage rights for up to 90 days. The SAP Rapid Prototyping licenses are free of charge and for unproductive use only. This is a unique, risk-free way to set up and test drive a new solution.
The prototyping engagement is not a full-scale implementation project. However, the results can be moved into production, or may become the baseline for custom extensions or for the blueprint phase of a subsequent full-scale implementation project. Through SAP ActiveEmbedded, SAP provides you with a roadmap for the transition of the solution into production so that it can co-exist “side-by-side” in your IT landscape, without immediately replacing current investments.
Take Advantage of the Possibilities
Businesses need to be able to leverage new innovations quickly and effectively. The SAP ActiveEmbedded team can help your organization take advantage of these opportunities by working with your IT department to ensure the seamless operation of your solutions, and by recommending potential areas for improvement. Using end-to-end application lifecycle management, the “Run SAP Like a Factory” approach, integration validation, and SAP Rapid Prototyping services, the SAP ActiveEmbedded team can work directly with you to help you realize the benefits of new innovations. To learn more, visit www.service.sap.com/activeembedded.
Silvio Bessa (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been with SAP since 1995. Silvio was a Basis and SAP Architect consultant in the first three years of his SAP career. After becoming involved with the SAP Active Global Support Center of Expertise, he opened the Mission Control Center in North America to drive standards and quality for Premium Engagement services, SAP Enterprise Support services, and critical customer situations. Silvio is Vice President for SAP Active Global Support Premium Engagements in North America, responsible for both SAP MaxAttention and SAP ActiveEmbedded program and delivery.