SAP has announced the latest version of SAP Solution Manager with a planned Ramp-Up start date of mid-May. With SAP Solution Manager 7.1, SAP has focused on extending the benefit of SAP Solution Manager to a greater user base, responding to criticism that the solution is “for SAP only” and lacked integration with third-party tools. The new release provides one unified platform based on SAP CRM 7.0, covering all aspects of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and IT Service Management.
The improvements made to SAP Solution Manager come as part of the greater plan SAP has for its ALM roadmap. Provided by SAP Enterprise Support, SAP has simplified the use of SAP Solution Manager for the entire customer solution. SAP Solution Manager 7.1 is the prime factor in facilitating that move.
A major concern SAP customers have voiced regarding SAP Solution Manager is that it only manages SAP components. SAP addresses that concern in the new release, allowing non-SAP components to be supported alongside SAP’s own in SAP Solution Manager 7.1 under SAP Enterprise Support. See the sidebar “SAP Enterprise Support” to learn more about the maintenance offering.
For example, medium-sized SAP Enterprise Support customers can use SAP Solution Manager as a general IT ticketing tool, without additional license fees. According to SAP, this is possible because the company has extended Service Desk usage rights to all third-party software components and IT assets that are used in connection with SAP business processes. If a customer uses, for example, mobile devices to enter orders, SAP CRM and SAP ERP to process them, a third-party database to save the data, and printers to print delivery notes, all of these components are part of the SAP customer solution covered by SAP Enterprise Support usage rights. Understanding these rights is critical to making informed decisions about your service desk strategy.
Customers now have the option to manage their SAP Enterprise Support defined customer solution with SAP Solution Manager, a tool required for all SAP customers anyway.
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SAP Solution Manager 7.1 will also be covered in great detail at the upcoming Managing your SAP Projects event, November 2-4, 2011 in Las Vegas. Please see the event website for more details!